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Late First Lieutenant of H. M. S. Modeste. 







HARR.'sr/X & CO., rr.iNTERS, 
ST. martin's lane. 

35./ 7^ 















Advertisement to Second Edition . , . ix 
Preface . , . . . . xi 

Introduction . . . . . .1 



Orders to proceed to China — Arrival of Blonde and Py- 
lades — Krewmen dislike going — Island of Mauritius 
— Placed in Quai-antine — Seychell Islands — Coco de 
iner — Penang — Straits of Malacca — Water-spout — 
Malays — Upas Tree — Malacca — Straits of Sincapore 
— SaU from Sincapore — Make the Ladrones — Chow- 
Chow water — Anchor at Macao — Men of war in 
River — An-ival of Expedition — Blockade declared — 
Scale of Rewards — Arrival of Cape Squadi-on — 
Method of claiming Rewards — Sail for Chusan — 
Ock-sue Islands — Formosa — Black Island — Buffalo's 
Nose — Fishing Boats — Want of Interpreter — 
Pirate's escape — Boats sail — Chusan Harbour — 
Compradore seized — Blonde at Amoy — Ning-po 
under Blockade — Elephant's Trunk — Process of 
making Salt — Difference of rank . . .141 


Clear the Islands — Pylades and Transports join — Capture 
of Pirates — Heavy SquaU — Enter Imperial Sea — 
Gulf of Petche-li — Board Junk — Proceed to the 
Pei-ho — Pilots useless — Capture Chinaman — Manda- 
rins spoil their Boots — Appearance ; of the Shore — 
Sounding River — Showie Pih, alias Captain White 
— Visit to Alceste Bay — Procure BuUocks — Good 
Water — Volage visits INIantchow Tartary — Welles- 
ley at Toke — Plan for bringing Emperor to terms — 
Present to Squadron — INIeeting with Keshen — Sick- 
ness disappears — Procure Millet — Arrangement for 
quitting Imperial Sea . . . 199 





Quit the Pei-Ho— Toke— City of Tong-Tcliou-foo— 
Chinese Ladies — Defences — Manning the Guns — 
Chinese Banners — Arms — Paoupang — Jealousy of 
Mandarins — Mia-tau Group — Artificial Harbour — 
Dandy Mandarin — Dissertation on Tails — Mandarin's 
Attendant — Tlie Cabin and Curiosity — Rejoin Ad- 
miral — ]Mountain of Flesh — His Appetite — Admira- 
tion of Fatness — Mia-tau — Loss of Pinnace — Use 
of Telescope — Chinese Df-jeiuie — Sculling-boats — 
Chin-chin not Chin-chin — Quelpert — Ordered off 
Ning-po — Wreck of Kite — Cruel Treatment of her 
Crew — Dimensions of Cages — Death of Prisoners — 
Their Release — Capture of Captain Anstruther — 
Attempts to kidnap Messrs. Pencraft and Prattent . 243 



Proceed to Ning-po — Captain Elliot applies for release of 
Prisoners — Their better Treatment — ChineseCavalry 
' — Return to "Spithead'' — Yang-tse-kiang — Cruise 
of the Conway — Death of jNIr. Harvey — Algerine at 
Chapoo — Bravery of Mandarin — Loss of Indian Oak 
— Nimrod's Cruise — Loo-choo — Manners of its Inha- 
bitants — Seaman's Grave — Quelpert — Sickness 
amongst our Troops — Chusan — Ting-hai — Taoutow 
and Joss-house Hill — Position of Troops — Robberies 
— Chinese Coffin — Debasing of Coin — Temples — 
Arsenals — Arms — The Six Boards — Burning the 
Archives . . . . . .291 


Good effects of Discipline — Lingua Franca — Resources of 
Chusan — Its Vegetable Productions — Paddy — Ma- 
nure — Anecdote — Cotton — Bricks — Roads — Death 
of Lieut. Conway — His Funeral — Watering — IMel- 



ville Repaired — Present from Elepoo — The Fever — 
Truce — Innumerable Duck's Eggs — Little Feet- 
Pain well Borne — Women's Hair — Marriage — Arti- 
ficial Flowers — Charms of an Anchor Button — Ad- 
miral sails for Canton — Starboard Jack — Elepoo's 
Change of Policy — Chinese Liners— Cast large Guns 
— Houses used as Fire-Wood — Elepoo's Threat to 
burn the City — Keshen's Treachery — Lew appointed 
Commander-in-Chief — His Expedition postponed 
sine die — Beneficial effects of Cold Weather — Orders 
to evacuate Chusan — The Evacuation — Climate and 
Range of Thermometer — Squadron sail from Star- 
board Jack — Fishing-boats — Arrival at Toong-koo . 341 



Proceedings at Macao during the absence of the Admiral 
— Smuggling by the Broadway — New Rewards for 
British — Enlisting Troops — Chalking Fingers — Two 
Officers robbed — Abduction of Mr. Staunton — His 
Treatment — Demanded by Captain Smith — Account 
of the Barrier — Return of the Taou-tae — Answer to 
Captain Smith's Demand — Preparations for attack- 
ing the Barrier — Victory thereat — Effects of it^ 
Chinese claim the Battle — Chinese leave INIacao — 
Lin delivers up his Seals — Lin's Character — Arrival 
of 37tli Madras Native Infantry — Lin's Memorial- 
Force in River — Flag of Truce again fired on — 
Queen's 68-pounders — Toong-koo^ Roasting Soldiers 
— Sentence of Paoupang — Squadron proceed to Chu- 
enpee — Admiral resigns the command — Anecdote- 
Joss-house — Female Offering — Release of ilr. 
Staunton — Christmas-day — Captain Smith and Man- 
darin . . • 385 



Volume I. 


Emperor of China To face Title-page. 

Mouth of the Pei-ho 212 

The Method in which the English Prisoners at Ning-po 

were carried about 276 

Volume II. 

Temple of Matsoo-po, at Amo-ko, in IMacao. 

To face Title-page. 

Map 37 




A SECOND edition of my Narrative having 
been called for, I have taken the opportunity 
of throwing the Opium Question into the 
form of an introduction, thus enabling the 
reader who feels no interest in that subject 
to pass it entirely over, and commence with 
the expedition itself at page 1 54. 

Slight errors have been corrected and 
some anecdotes introduced, upon the autho- 
rity of the actors in the scenes described. 
An additional chapter has also been added, 
bringing the proceedings in China up to the 
date of the latest intelligence, and I trust to 
the conclusion of the affair. 

Some of my friends have appeared 
puzzled by the word pigeon, which frequently 
occurs in the Chinese Lingua Franca: it 
means neither more nor less than business, 
a word that no Chinaman can pronounce, 
making it pigeoness, but more commonly 
pigeon. J. E. B. 



Promotion having for the moment thrown 
me out of active service, I have been tempted 
to draw up the following Sketch of the 
various events connected with the present 
war in China. 

I commenced my Narrative with the idea 
of bringing it before the public under the 
auspices of the periodical press ; finding, 
however, that such a mode of publication 
would have occupied many months, while 
the Narrative itself must have lost much of 
its interest to the reader, by being presented 
to him at considerable intervals, and in a 
disjointed shape, I have been induced to let 
it assume its present form. 

I shall be found accurate, I believe, in all 
the details of the transactions which I de- 
scribe. In many of the incidents selected I 
was myself an actor ; where that was not the 
case, and 1 am consequently unable to speak 


from personal knowledge, I have had re- 
course to the most correct and authentic 
sources of information. 

I must beg the indulgence of my readers 
for any errors into which I may unintention- 
ally have fallen. Should I, however, from the 
short space of time allowed me for the compo- 
sition of the latter chapters, have been guilty 
of omission as to the names or achievements 
of any of my late companions in arms, I must 
crave their forgiveness ; but should the pub- 
lic so far approve of my humble labours as 
to call for a second edition of my little work, 
I shall rejoice in the opportunity of supplying 
such deficiencies, and shall be happy to insert 
any additional facts with which friends may 
be kind enough to favour me, as well as the 
names, if any, of individuals inadvertently 

I must freely confess I have met with the 
difficulties common to all travellers on exa- 
mining their note-books ; and probably^ in 
selecting matter for publication, may have 
passed by unrecorded some circumstances 
which would have afforded entertainment. 


while others may have been related in which 
the general reader can feel comparatively 
little interest. I have done my best ; let 
the critic remember 

'Tis glorious e'en to fail in great attempts ; 
and permit me humbly to remind him that 
a British sailor is more accustomed to handle 
the tiller than the pen. 

For centuries our intercourse with China 
has been purely commercial. It has been 
left to the year 1840 to open that new era, 
which should bring this mighty oriental 
nation into angry collision with the inha- 
bitants of the western world, to whom they 
had been known previously only as semi- 
barbarians, supplying us, in exchange for our 
manufactures, with that fragrant herb, be- 
come now among us almost a necessary of 
life, and whose balmy essence fills 

The cup 
That cheers but not inebriates. 

They, however, despising all '' outside 
barbarians," have ever wrapped themselves 
up in their own pride and self-sufficiency, 
flattering themselves that their " celestial 


empire'' was at least the most, if not the 
only, civiUzed portion of the world ; while 
they have made even geography itself con- 
tribute to their exaltation and supremacy, — 
China being depicted on their charts as the 
central nation of the earth ! 

This age of darkness and ignorant arro- 
gance must fast melt away before the pre- 
sent movement. It is consoling, under the 
sufferings which the obstinacy and perfidious 
conduct of their government compel us to 
inflict upon the people, to reflect that the 
contest now in progress must result in throw- 
mg open the vast empire of China to a more 
intimate communication with Europeans than 
has ever yet existed j and thus while it 
benefits both them and ourselves, in a 
commercial point of view, must, under God, 
be the means of elevating them from their 
present degradation to a state of real civiliza- 
tion. Above all, it may open to the labours 
of the Christian missionary one-third of the 
population of the globe ! 

The Chinese are essentially a commercial 
people immured in darkness, and all bowing 


down before the shrine of Mammon. When 
we consider their habits and customs, they 
may be said to be a mass of contradictions to 
all European nations, — the very opposite to 
ourselves in almost everything. 

The facts in the following pages relating 
to the manners and customs of this stransie 
and most peculiar race are recorded prin- 
cipally from my own observation. I am, 
however, indebted to the work of Mr. 
Slade, the Editor of the Canton Register, 
for my account of the proceedings which 
led to the present war. I have also found 
the Chinese Repository , a periodical published 
at Macao, of essential service, in furnish- 
ing information on Chinese affairs. 

The memorials and edicts in the Appendix 
will I trust prove amusing, while they will 
be found to throw a strong light on the 
treachery and duplicity, which the Chinese 
authorities have without scruple practised 
throughout their late dealings with the 

The rule in our language is so undefined 
for the orthography of Chinese names, that 


in the following pages when speaking of 
provinces, rivers, districts, or cities, I have 
followed that used in Wyld's maps ; thereby 
affording the reader a ready means of fol- 
lowing up the different movements of the 

I must avail myself of the opportunity here 
afforded me of publicly expressing to Messrs. 
Matheson, W. Dent, Stewart, and Captain 
T. Larkins, with many other residents at 
Macao, my warmest thanks and acknowledg- 
ments for the unremitting kindness I ex- 
perienced at their hands while confined 
there by the consequences of a severe and 
painful wound received during the operations 
at the Bocca Tigris. To Mr. Matheson I 
feel the thanks of the entire squadron are due; 
and I feel assured that numbers of the officers 
of the ''China Expedition" will cordially 
unite with me in offering grateful acknow- 
ledgments to that gentleman, whose house 
was ever found open and ready for the recep- 
tion of the sick or the wounded. 

New House Gosj^ort, 
October, 1842. 


The barbarians are like beasts, and not to be ruled on the same 
principles as citizens. Were any one to attempt controlling 
them by the great maxims of re ason, it would tend to nothing 
but confusion. The ancient kings well understood this, and 
accordingly ruled the barbarians by mis-rule ; therefore to rule 
barbarians by mis-rule is the true and the best way of ruling 
them. — Davis's China, 

Many of my readers may probably be igno- 
rant of the numerous insults that have been 
heaped upon the British nation, through the 
gross ignorance and overbearing pride of 
the Chinese Mandarins. I have, therefore, 
thought it worth while to give the following 
introductory account of the transactions that 
took place for about the space of four years 
immediately preceding the date of my own 
arrival at the scene of action, which must be 
considered as the more legitimate commence- 
ment of my Narrative. 

The Opium war, as it has generally been 
misnamed, from the Chinese having taken 
their stand on that question, professing that] 
to save the morals of the people the trade 
in that drug must absolutely be cut off, has 

VOL. I. B 


raised doubts, in the minds of many indi- 
viduals, as to the justness of our present pro- 
ceedings in China. But neither the morals, 
nor the health of the subject, has been the 
real cause ; which may more properly be 
found in the "oozing out of the sycee silver 
from the central flowery land." 

It must be borne in mind that, during the 
monopoly of the trade held by the East India 
Company, many differences and quarrels 
arose between them and the Chinese, but on 
all which points the Company gave way 
rather than forfeit, from any feeling of pique, 
the advantages they were enjoying. This 
system could never be followed after the 
trade became open and the transactions with 
China assumed a national character; but this 
difference of position the Chinese never took 
into consideration. 

We had accordingly a long series of insults 
to be redressed, among which were these: — 
our flag fired upon ; — the representative 
of our government with our merchants im- 
prisoned; — their property seized, confiscated, 
and destroyed ; — their memorials and repre- 
sentations treated with barbarian ignorance, 
and their persons expelled from Canton. But 


SO fully conscious were the Chinese authori- 
ties of the great benefit arising to their own 
country from foreign trade, that I conceive, 
if they had entertained an idea for one 
moment of the war which has arisen out of 
their proceedings, they would never have 
taken any steps that could have led to a 
collision between the two nations; but our 
having given way on former occasions made 
them fimcy we should yield to them for ever. 
A short time before the commencement of 
the present century, opium was admitted 
into China as a medical drug, and a duty was 
paid on it of fifty cents per lb.; but it does 
not appear to have been generally indulged 
in as a Chinese luxury at that time; though 
in the Eastern Archipelago, and in many 
.parts of India, it has always been an 
article of increasing traffic. Probably its 
use was originally introduced into China 
from these islands, or perhaps from Cochin 
China; for we find that in 1781, when the 
Company, in consequence of the India seas 
being infested with French cruisers, freighted 
a ship on their own account with o])ium for 
the China market, Singua, one of the Hong 
merchants, became the purchaser, at the mo- 

B 2 


derate price of 210 dollars per chest, but 
that he reshipped the principal part of it to 
the Malay peninsula. It was not until the 
year 1793 that the opium traders began to 
experience any annoyance from the Chinese 
authorities ; when, in consequence of their 
increased vexations, while the Chinese pirates 
or Ladrones were becoming very trouble- 
some, the traders at Lark's Bay, where the 
opium traffic had been long established, in 
1794 loaded one of their vessels exclusively 
with that drug, and fearlessly moved up to 
Whampoa. She remained there for nearly 
eighteen months without molestation from 
the mandarins or others; and from such a 
beginning the trade at that place continued 
to thrive until 1819. 

In 1799, Kielking, governor of the pro- 
vince of Kwang-tung, memorialized the 
emperor to prohibit the introduction of the 
drug, and the opposition became so great 
from the Chinese authorities, that the Com- 
pany's supercargoes at Canton recommended 
the importation of it to be discontinued; 
but it was becoming to our Indian possessions 
too lucrative an export to be lightly given 
up, and each year saw the demand for opium 


increased and increasing. The depot-ships, 
as before stated, remained at Whampoa, and 
many opium clippers were employed in the 
transportation of it from India to that 
place. These are remarkably fine vessels, 
selected for their sailing qualities, and 
make the passage to and from China against 
the monsoon in a comparatively short 

In April, ]820, Yuen issued a proclama- 
tion prohibiting the drug, which, combined 
with the increased vigilance of the subor- 
dinates, caused the depot-ships to establish 
an anchorage off the Island of Lintin, shift- 
ing to Cum-sing-moon as a more secure road- 
stead during the typhoon season, where the 
trade still flourished. 

The Chinese admiral, accompanied by his 
war-junks, occasionally came down firing 
away his guns, when a shot or two from 
some of the opium traders warned him it 
was time to anchor; after which, attended 
by his officers, he would visit the ships, and 
harangue much in the following language : — 
** That Emperor send chop makee strong 
talkee, must drive away all ship, my chin, 
chin you, Mr. Captain ; katchee anchor, makee 


vvalkee, my can talkee that Ison Tuck (Vice- 
roy) all ships have go away!" The dep6t- 
ships would then move to the other side of 
the island, or the admiral returned, stating 
he found nothing but ships in distress 

These fellows were in the habit of receiv- 
ing; a bribe of from five to ten dollars a 
chest, which they would request the captain 
to keep back for them from the Chinese 
smugglers, preferring rather to trust to 
English honour than to their own country- 
men. About once a month they would visit 
the ships for payment on the number of 
chests smuggled. 

The following paragraph from the Cal- 
cutta Englishman of the 30th January, 
1837, will put the reader in possession of the 
flourishing state of the trade at that time; — 
*' Cum-sing-moon is the anchorage of the 
opium depot-vessels during the south-west 
monsoon. It is a spacious harbour, formed 
partly by islands and partly by the main- 
land with a narrow entrance^ having an 
island in the centre of it. Both the islands 
and the main are lofty, and the ships so well 
sheltered that, in general, they ride out even 


the typhoons, against which no anchorage 
would seem perfectly secure. 

" The animated scene witnessed at Cum- 
sing-moon may well arrest our attention 
awhile. Of the numerous vessels of various 
sizes in the anchorage, several are depot- 
vessels, chiefly for opium. These do not move 
for years, except from one anchorage to the 
other, at the change of each season. From 
daylight to sunset you see alongside of these 
vessels the smuggling-boats which carry 
away the opium. These boats are in length, 
1 should think, from fifty or sixty to eighty 
or ninety feet, pulling from thirty to forty 
oars, and decked or hatched over, with their 
long masts, large mat sails, and the conical 
bamboo caps of the rowers, painted red, 
white, and blue; they are altogether very 
picturesque, and you behold them in every 
variety of situation in this busy scene. 

*' There are always one or two alongside 
the depot-vessels, others approaching for 
opium, foaming along under sail as if they 
would dash their stems against the vessels, 
but suddenly sheer alongside with a skill 
and dexterity which are truly admirable; 
others shoving off with their precious freight. 


and hoisting their sails; others already pul- 
ling and sailing away for Canton at a rapid 
rate with their cargoes, in defiance of the 
f celestial emperor and the mandarins. The 
/ whole scene is one of busy life indeed, for 
while the depot-vessels are supplying the 
smuggling-boats, the clippers, and other 
vessels importing the drug, are supplying 
them ; and launches, cutters, and even jolly- 
boats are engaged in the work of tranship- 
ment of opium and cotton, which last article 
is often unloaded here from vessels of com- 
paratively small burthen, and sent up in 
large ships; collecting in this way a full 
freight, and enabled thus to pay the port 
duties that would be ruinous to those less 
burthensome, on which the charges would 
be nearly the same. 

* ' Step on board the opium vessels, and there 
again the evidence of an active and lucrative 
trade are everywhere around you. On one 
side of the deck you see ranges of chests of 
Patna and Benares, — the other strewed with 
the contents of chests of Malwa, which is 
not packed in balls like the Patna, but in 
loose cakes, every one of which the opium 
dealer examines, rejecting many chests, per- 


haps, before he takes one. Turn your eyes 
aft, and you see again in one place boxes of 
dollars marked 2,000, others marked syceCy 
and in another place the Chinese employed 
for the purpose, emptying bags of dollars 
and sycee silver, and shroffing or examining 
them. The large sycee lumps are like small 
pigs of lead in form and size, nearly ; but 
the brightness of the pure silver, of course, 
would prevent your mistaking one for the 

''It is impossible to behold these symbols 
of wealth in such abundance as you do in 
these vessels, and so carelessly scattered about 
as it appears to be (only appears, for it is in 
reality well looked after), without being 
strongly impressed with a conviction of the 
magnitude and importance of the trade. The 
capital embarked in it is indeed very large, 
involving nearly twenty millions of dollars. 
The bargains for opium are mostly made in 
Canton, though a great many chests are 
actually sold, and not merely delivered, on 
board. When the opium is sold in Canton, the 
sellergives an order to the opium broker for the 
delivery ; and if it is Patna or Benares, there 
is little trouble^, and his purser or agent gets 

B 3 


at once the quantity of the marks specified in 
his order. If Malwa opium, the latter will 
examine every cake, and then weigh the 
whole, and perhaps he will not complete 
half his order. For great tricks are played in 
Malwa, and the contents of chests are some- 
times changed between the time of purchase 
and shipment, and a spurious article sub- 
stituted, — and I have heard of a chest of 
bricks being substituted by the clever rogues 
at Bombay. A great portion of the opium 
is paid for on board in dollars or sycee silver; 
and a kumshah, or present, of five dollars 
upon every chest is paid to the commander, 
for him and the officers. 

" It is quite a mistake to suppose, as many 
do, that the smuggling-boats take in their 
cargoes, and run them at night. The truth 
is, they carry on their trade, not only in the 
face of day, but in the presence of the man- 
darin boats stationed at the anchorage to 
prevent it, and they land their cargoes at 
Canton. What may seem more extraor- 
dinary to those who have paid no attention 
to the accounts of the Chinese government 
and character is, that the mandarin boats are 
often employed in smuggling. 


*'The whole system is curious enough; but 
the key to the facility with which the laws of 
China are set at defiance, is to be found in 
the fact that they are many of them in oppo- 
sition to the desires of the people, and that 
in China, what Sir Robert Walpole once said 
of English statesmen, is literally and empha- 
tically applicable to every functionary in the 
empire, from the emperor down to the lowest 
mandarin, — the emperor not excepted." 

Great has been the increase since 1776, 
when about 1,000 chests were imported; for 
in 1837 the imports had increased to the 
enormous quantity of 40,000, for which the 
Chinese paid upwards of 25,000,000 dollars. 
In consequence of this immense withdrawing 
or drain of specie out of the country, the 
government called upon the great officers to 
report on the best means of remedying the 
evil. The Chinese forgot that this might be 
considered as only the return of a loan ; for 
prior to the increased demand for opium, and 
previous to our great improvement in ma- 
chinery, by which we are enabled to export 
woollen and cotton goods to China, all teas, 
&c. imported by us were paid for in Spanish 
p'.llar'd dollars. 


Now, it is a well-known fact, all China- 
men, hiffh and low, are in the habit of 
punching a small quantity of silver out of all 
dollars that pass through their hand? ; thus 
in a very short time reducing their value, 
until they assume the title of *' chopped dol- 
lars," and are passed by weight. The 
owners of such dollars constantly cast them 
into the form of sycee ; and thus considerable 
quantities of nominal sycee become nothing 
more than dollars in a different form. Pure 
sycee contains no small portion of gold, but 
the Chinese do not understand the art of 
separating the two metals. 

Many of the great officers recommended 
the admission of opium at a certain rate of 
duty. Heu-Naetse, vice-president of the 
Sacrificial Court, says, in his memorial to the 
emperor, — " It will be found on examination, 
that the smokers of opium are idle, lazy 
vagrants, having no useful purpose before 
them, and are unworthy of regard, or even 
of contempt. And though there are smo- 
kers to be found, who have over-stepped the 
threshold of age, yet they do not attain to 
the lono; life of other men. But new births 
are daily increasing the population of the 


empire ; and there is no cause to apprehend 
a diminution therein; while, on the other 
hand, we cannot adopt too great, or too 
early precautions, against the annual waste 
which is taking place in the resources, the 
very substance of China. Since, then, it will 
not answer to close our ports against all 
trade, and since the laws issued against 
opium are quite inoperative, the only method 
left, is to revert to the former system, — to 
permit the barbarian merchants to import 
opium, paying duty thereon as a medicine, 
and to require that, after having passed the 
custom-house, it shall be delivered to the 
Hong merchants, only in exchange for mer- 
chandize, and that no money be paid for it. 

"The barbarians findino; that the amount 
of duties to be paid on it, is less than what is 
now spent in bribes, will also gladly comply 

" Foreign money should be placed on the 
same footing with sycee silver, and the 
exportation of it should be equally pro- 
hibited. Offenders, when caught, should be 
punished by the entire destruction of the 
opium they may have, and the confiscation 
of the money that be found with them. 


With regard to officers, civil and military," 
and to scholars and common soldiers, the 
first are called on to fulfil the duties of their 
rank, and attend to the public good ; the 
others, to cultivate their talents, and become 
fit for public usefulness. None of these, 
therefore, must be permitted to contract a 
practice so bad, or to walk in a path which 
will lead only to the utter waste of their 
time and destruction of their property. 

" If, however, the laws enacted against the 
practice be made too severe, the result will 
be mutual connivance. It becomes my duty, 
then, to request, that it be enacted, that any 
officer, scholar, or soldier, found guilty of 
secretly smoking opium, shall be immediately 
dismissed from public employ, without being 
made liable to any other penalty. In this 
way, lenity will become, in fact, severity 
towards them. And further, that if any su- 
perior or general officer be found guilty of 
knowingly and willingly conniving at the prac- 
tice among his subordinates, such officer shall 
be subject to a court of inquiry. Lastly, that 
no regard be paid to the purchase and use of 
opium, on the part of the people generally.'* 

The whole of the foregoing memorial, for 


which Heu-Naetse was degraded to the sixth 
rank, and dismissed from the public service, 
is written in a clear and argumentative style, 
and, according to its prayer, was referred, by 
the emperor, to Tang Ting-ching and his 
colleagues, to report on, who decidedly 
approved of the proposition, sending nine 
regulations with reference to the proposed 
change, and remarking; — "We your majes- 
ty's ministers, having examined the original 
memorial, and considered the details therein 
contained, respecting the evils to be removed, 
regard the whole as true and accurate. The 
request for a repeal of the prohibition, and 
change in the system, and a return to the 
former plan of laying a duty on opium, is also 
such as the circumstances of the times render 
necessary; and it is our duty to solicit your 
majesty's sanction thereof." 

While these memorials and reports were 
urging the emperor to the wise policy of 
admitting opium with a tariff, Choo-Tsun, 
member of the council of the Board of Rites, 
and Heu-Kew, the sub-censor, were petition- 
ing against the admission of the drug. Their 
memorials dwelt particularly on the oozing 
out of the wealth of the land by reason of 


the quantities of sycee and otlier silver that 
were annually exported from China. Con- 
demning the use of opium, they strongly 
pressed on the emperor to make the laws 
more stringent against its admission, and to 
punish capitally all native traders. 

In reply to the foregoing memorials, an 
imperial edict was issued, directing *' Tang 
and his colleagues, Ke, lieutenant-governor 
of Kwangtung, and Wan, superintendent of 
maritime customs, anxiously and carefully to 
consult together upon the recommendations; 
to search for, and with utmost strictness 
apprehend all those traitorous natives who 
sell the drug, the Hong merchants who ar- 
range the transaction in it, the brokers who 
purchase it by wholesale, the boatmen who 
are engaged in transporting it, and the naval 
militia who receive bribes ; and having deter- 
mined on the steps to be taken in order to 
stop the source of the evil, let them present 
a true and faithful report." 

Thus were these three worthies, to use a 
familiar phrase, " in a cleft stick ;" for they 
were all more or less implicated in the opium 
smuggling. Tang, however, who thought 
opium would be admitted at a duty, made a 


bold push to amass a fortune, using the 
most strenuous efforts against the " scram- 
bling dragons," and other native craft, em- 
ployed in smuggling opium into Canton. 
He engaged accordingly in the smuggling 
trade, sending and driving out of the river 
all but four boats, of which he was the 
owner. This produced the following lam- 
poon from some witty Chinaman : — 

O'er the impoverish'd, but broad eastern land, 
Our venerable Tang holds chief command. 
His favours fall on those who seizures make, 
Yet in the daring game he holds a stake. 
Four cruising boats his son and comrades keep 
To scour the waters of the inner deep; 
And in his halls having heaped an untold store 
Of gold, unsatiate, still he craves for more; 
While dice and women all his hours employ, 
Still the fond father censures not the boy. 
O, blind to reason ! no distinction seen; 
The good must bow to tyrants and the mean. 
But leagued oppression will resistance cause, 
And men's indignant hearts assert the laws. 

By these means he monopolized great part 
of the trade, in which many British-owned 
schooners and boats were now engaged; nor 
can it be wondered at that they were so, for 
as much as 100 dollars were given for the 


freight of a single chest. All this was paid 
for by the Chinese purchasers. 

Tang and his colleagues, on the 23rd of 
November, 1836, revived an old edict, which 
declares, — *' That if any foreigner, in con- 
sequence of its being impracticable for him 
at once to dispose of his merchandize, is 
unable to call in all his property, and has 
therefore no option but to remain in China, 
then he must, after the foreign ships have 
left the port, go and reside at Macao, and 
place his commodities in the hands of a 
Hong merchant to be sold for him ; which 
being done, the Hong merchant is to pay 
him the whole price; and, in the following 
year, he must avail himself of one of the 
ships of his nation to return home. If the 
Hong merchant and linguist suffer foreign 
merchants by degrees to take up their resi- 
dence in Canton, they shall be severally 
subject to strict investigation." 

On this resuscitated edict they directed 
that the foreigners should quit Canton, kindly 
allowing them half a month to make up their 
accounts, and pack up their effects. To this 
the Hong merchants replied, that they had 
received letters from the several merchants 


request! tier permission to remain longer; some 
wanting three months, and others an inde- 
finite time, which being remarked on by the 
governor, lieutenant-governor, and hoppo, 
the time was extended to four months from 
the 4th of December^ 1836, — the date of 
the orders. 

The governor, in his report to the emperor, 
corrects errors as regards the residence of 
foreigners ; exculpates the Hong merchants 
from the charge of trading in opium ; states 
his reasons for prolonging the stay of fo- 
reigners : — "Jardine's trade and that of others 
is very extensive, and winter is the busiest 
time. To order them now abruptly away 
would not look like a compassionate re- 
gard ; but they are all ordered down to 

He then alludes to Heu-Kew's report of 
foreigners at Macao riding in sedan-chairs 
carried by Chinese bearers^ which is forbidden 
by the Chinese law, but that the Chinamen, 
on being examined, pleaded poverty as their 

He further says, that though the poor 
native women and foreign families have com- 
munication with each other, it is not for 


improper purposes; and should such crimes 
be found to exist, the criminal will be 
severely punished. 

He finishes his report by assuring the 
emperor that he is now giving his whole 
mind to the subject of the memorial, and 
that his most strenuous efforts will be 
exerted to put down smuggling in opium 
and sycee. 

The merchants, as it suited their conveni- 
ence, went to Macao, and the opium trade 

On the •23rd of August, 1837, Chin, 
admiral of the squadron of Fokien, and Tow, 
commander of the garrison of Kinmuh, &c., 
issued an "intelligible proclamation," which, 
dwelling on the foreigners paying no atten- 
tion " to the laws of heaven's dynasty," 
whose compassion is as "boundless as the 
ocean," orders all the ships to quit the coast; 
or, say these mighty boasters, " along 
the boundaries of our country we shall place 
a thousand ships of war, numerous as the 
stars, and disposed in array like a chess- 
board. At the first call they will imme- 
diately respond ; — one cannot resist a host ; 
and it is to be feared, that when the admiral 


of the station and the commander of the 
garrison unite their troops, thick as the con- 
gregated clouds, you will not be able to 
sustain their attack. But we military and 
naval commanders do not wish to kill you 
in cold blood, without warning you of the 
consequences of your present line of con- 
duct; therefore we specially proclaim to you 
beforehand, and if ye have any wisdom you 
will immediately return, — a circumstance at 
which we shall truly rejoice." 

That they would have rejoiced, no one, 
who knows the Chinese, will doubt; for in 
addition to a paucity of courage^ the autho- 
rities are held responsible to the emperor for 
any disturbance that may take place in their 
governments. That the proclamation was 
so much waste paper, the ships remaining at 
their anchorage abundantly proved ; but 
Chin had saved his face by the proclama- 

On the 24th of September we find Chin 
again issuing proclamations to the foreign 
ships ; while orders were at the same time 
issued to the Hong merchants, that certain 
traitorous foreigners were to leave Canton 
for Macao. Still delays took place, and Tang 


the governor benefited greatly by the 
smuggling. On the 20th of November he 
launched another edict, giving the opium 
ships a month to remove from Lintin, and 
return to their own country. 

At the expiration of that time, the Hong 
merchants represented to him, that the 
foreigners state " they have no power over 
the receiving-ships, as they do not belong to 
them." Tang, on the 22nd of December, 
1837, threatens in an edict, that he will 
certainly request orders from his imperial 
majesty, that the trade may be stopped 
with all those nations which have anv 
receiving-ships, and thus bring them to 

Now it might be supposed from the fore- 
going extracts, that the Chinese have been 
very ill-used, and that the opium trade has 
been forced on them ; but such was not at 
all the case. I must beg my readers to 
divest themselves of such an ideaj for be it 
remembered, while the Chinese statesmen 
pencil their highly moral edicts and memo- 
rials with one hand against the admission of 
this poisonous drug, with the other they 
receive bribes and fees, levied for the secret 


admission of this baneful enchantment. Nay, 
they themselves, in secret, revel in all the 
luxury of the opium pipe; a luxury which, 
when once indulged in, it is almost impos- 
sible to shake off. 

Tang, deeply steeped in the trade, could 
not escape the quick eyes of his countrymen, 
who are ever ready with a lampoon. The 
following one was stuck on his house : — 

Where Yue's lands are broad, yet poor, 
The venerable Tang holds sway ; 

His bailiffs knock at every door, 

And drag both good and bad away ! 

O Tang ! if from the drug you'd set us free. 
Yourself would soon a prisoner be. 

On the 2nd of December, 1837, the 
governor of the two provinces, Kwang-tung, 
and Kwang-se, refusing to correspond with 
Captain Elliot, the superintendent, on the 
conditions pointed out by her majesty's 
ministers, the British flag was struck, 
and Captain Elliot issued a public letter 
to the Britiish subjects, detailing his reasons 
for so doing, and for his departure from 

In the year 1838, the restrictions on the 
opium trade became exceedingly trouble- 


some ; and a poor fellow, Ko Seping, was 
strangled at Macao, on the 7th of April, 
for being an opium dealer. 

In the middle of the month of June, eight 
chests of opium were seized on the river near 
the factories, four of which disappeared 
during the operation; while the other four 
were handed over to the Prefect of Canton, 
and, while in the hands of the police, were 
most wonderfully metamorphosed into four 
chests of common earth. The dealers at 
this time asserted that the local government 
received 75 dollars per chest for conniving 
at the importation of the drug. 

During this and the previous year, owing 
to these obstructions, and the activity of the 
officers at Lintin, a most extensive opium 
trade was carried on at Whampoa, without 
the least disguise; but on the 1 7th of Sep- 
tember, an officer appeared at that place, to 
search for, and seize opium. The people re- 
sisted, and a riot was the consequence, in 
which the officer was wounded, and many lives 
were lost; but fresh troops being sent from 
Canton, the disturbance was at length 

Edicts and orders were now promulgated 


in quick succession, commanding all opium 
vessels to leave the river; and an imperial 
edict published, in November, denouncing 
death against the dealers and smokers of 
opium under a new law, which was to ap- 
pear in three months. 

About this time, many dealers and 
smokers in opium were seized with their 
apparatus ; and report says, that in the pro- 
vince of Hoopih the government had resorted 
to the cruel punishment of cutting out a 
portion of the upper lip to prevent their 
using the pipe. 

Ko Seping's murder, for I can call it by 
no other name, to the astonishment of all 
the foreigners, was followed on the 12th of 
December by an attempt to execute Ho 
Lankin, a dealer in opium, and who kept a 
tavern appropriated to smoking that drug. 
As this transaction was to take place in front 
of the factories, and directly under the Ame- 
rican flag, the consul of that republic imme- 
diately ordered it to be struck. 

This attempt created a great sensation in 
the minds of the whole community of 
foreigners; and the first observers of the 
proceedings interrupted the erection of the 

VOL. I. c 


cross on which the arms of those ordered to 
be strangled are extended in a straight line. 
In the mean time, the greater part of the 
residents assembled on the spot, and pointed 
out plainly, but peaceably, to the mandarins 
on duty, that such a thing could not be 
tolerated, and if they persisted in attempting 
to carry it into effect, they must take the 
consequences. After a little time, the offi- 
cers, finding they would not be allowed to 
complete the execution, put a stop to the 
preparations and withdrew, removing at the 
same time, the instruments of death. How- 
ever, they immediately executed their victim 
at another place. 

The surrounding multitude, which had 
assembled to witness this intended execution, 
appeared to approve of its postponement as 
they supposed; but, unfortunately, several 
trifling disputes took place, consequent on 
the pressure of a Chinese crowd. On being 
driven back by some of the residents, 
they retaliated with stones, the showers of 
■which '^came fast and furious." Most of the 
Chinese excel in the art of pelting ; and the 
merchants were obliged to retire to their fac- 
tories, a promise being given that the police 


should be sent to disperse the "great un- 

More, however, than two hours elapsed 
before the police appeared, during which 
time, the lawless mob pulled down the walls 
and railings of the factories, and demolished 
the windows. Being emboldened by impu- 
nity, they were attempting to force the factory 
doors, with battering rams; when, at this 
critical moment, the magistrate of the Nanhae 
district, with three or four officers and a 
small body of police and soldiers, arrived in 
the square. His worship, stepping very de- 
liberately from his chair, cast his eye over 
this riotous assembly; when three or four of 
the most noisy were pounced upon, and a 
large dose of rattan and baniboo administered 
to them. The effect of this was wonderful; 
it was like oil upon a troubled sea; the riot 
was over. The magistrate and his friends 
then seated themselves near the centre of 
the square, the twenty soldiers being drawn 
up on a commanding spot, while the Hong 
merchants and police dispersed the crowd. 
In an hour everything wore its usual quiet 

It is due to the Chinese to confess that 

C 2 


this outbreak was entirely caused by the 
rash conduct of some of the foreign residents. 
Most opportune, however, was the arrival of 
this tranquillizing force; for had the foreigners 
been driven to defend themselves with fire- 
arms, much bloodshed and loss of life must 
have ensued, and as they could only number 
a few muskets, they might have been unable 
to have maintained their position. 

In the evening, Captain Elliot arrived from 
Whampoa, bringing with him about 120 sea- 
men, collected from the merchant-shipping 
at that anchorage, but most fortunately their 
services were not required. 

All these transactions were distinctly com- 
municated to the viceroy of Canton, in a 
remonstrance from the Chamber of Com- 
merce on the 1 4th of December, 1 838. This 
remonstrance was answered by Tang on the 
16th, who insisted on his right and the pro- 
priety of his having ordered that the execu- 
tion should take place on that spot, thereby 
to strike terror into the foreign dealers in 
the drug, *' and that the depraved portion 
might be prevented from pursuing their evil 

"Those foreigners," he adds, ''though born 


and brought up beyond the pale of civilization, 
have yet human hearts. How should they 
then have not been impressed with awe and 
dread and self-conviction ? Can they yet 
put pen to paper to draw up such insane 

Then stating that the factories belong to 
the Celestial Empire, and are merely granted 
by the ** great emperor," as a favour, he 
goes on to say, — "What have you foreigners 
to do with the question, whether convicted 
persons shall there be executed or not ? Say 
you, that the ground is used as a place of 
exercise by all the foreigners ? And is it not 
then a place of concourse also for the people, 
— the natives of the land ? No daring pre- 
sumption, no absurd complainings, can exceed 
these! They are execrable in the extreme." 

Thus was Mr. Lindsay's temperate and 
well-digested remonstrance answered, accom- 
panied with threatenings at the same time, 
that many more executions should take place; 
and that any "presumptuous and perverse 
foreigners" who might dare to interfere, 
should be reported by the Hong merchants, 
that they might be expelled. 

The Hong merchants at the same time 


represented to the Board of Commerce, that 
in consequence of the seizure of some smug- 
gled opium, they had been ordered to wear 
the cangue*, but by earnest entreaty had 
escaped ; and, in future, to prevent the degra- 
dation, all tenants of factories were required 
to give a bond that they would not engage in 
smuggling any article in the decked boats 
and schooners ; and further they were warned 
against the exportation of sycee silver. 

Shortly after the riot on the 12th, the fol- 
lowing lampoon was circulated at Canton; 
the individuals named in the third and fourth 
lines were notorious opium dealers, supposed 
to be screened by Tang, who is charged 
with receiving from them and other inferior 
magistrates thi'ee tens and six^ or 36,000 
taelsj per month, for the use of the revenue 
vessels for smuggling. From the seventh 

* The "kea," or " cangue," is a wooden collar from three 
to four feet square, having the crime for which it is 
worn engraven on it. This wooden pillory is sometimes 
worn for a month, during which period the wearer must 
be fed by others. 

-|- One thousand tchen ought to be equal to one tael 
of fine silver, but from the adulteration of the coin the 
tael is now worth 1 200. 


to the tenth line the author evidently alludes 
to the late attempted execution : — 

In truth, there's no luck at all in Canton, 
For Tinching in governor's hall is found, — 
Who, of Cheih Shakwang, is the well-known patron. 
And Ta Luhchuh by him rose froni the ground. 
The boats of Two Kwang are privily let, 
For a monthly sop of three tens and six. 
Poor Ho Laoukin ! he strangled him to death, 
Because his cash and coin could not suffice ; 
How was the cross all broken down and lost. 
And the curtained tent quite overset and tost ! 
He put a tell-tale cangue on Punhoyqua, 
And squeezed the pelf from Uncle Howqua. 
He scared poor Fung Suhchang almost to death. 
And Lew Shooluh had well-nigh lost his breath. 
If we hope for halcyon days of peace to come, 
Unbutton and dismiss this infamous Tang ; 
For if he stays one year in power, 
Canton will be just like a hot cauldron. 

On the 17th of December, her majesty^s 
chief superintendent, Captain Elliot, called 
a meeting of all the foreigners in Canton ; 
in his address to whom, he observes that 
the events of the last week must be anxiously 
considered by all the resident foreigners in 

After thanking them for their general sup- 
port and assistance, his excellency went on 


to remark, that the origin of the dispute 
might be traced to the extensive traffic in 
opium conducted by small boats ; which 
traffic could only lead to the interruption of 
all legal trade^ of suffering and loss to all 
those not engaged in it, and the daily expo- 
sure to imminent danger of every native 
connected with the foreigners. 

Attentively considering the question, he 
(Captain Elliot) announced that he intended 
to serve notices on all British-owned boats 
which were actually engaged in the illicit 
traffic, to proceed outside* within three 
days ; and if they failed to conform, he should 
put himself in communication with the pro- 
vincial government, and fully express his 
own views on the treatment of so serious an 

On the 18th this notice appeared, and 
further cautioned all her majesty's subjects 
engaged in the opium traffic, that if any 
native came by his or her death in the course 
of this illicit trade, they would be subject to 

* Vessels below the Bocca Tigris were called outside, 
in contradistincton to those above, or inside. The high 
Chinese officers never venture below the Bogue forts in 
their boats of state. 


prosecution and trial in the same manner as 
if they were within the jurisdiction of her 
majesty's courts at Westminster; and that, 
should any vessel be seized by the Chinese 
government engaged in these contraband 
dealings within the Bocca Tigris, her ma- 
jesty's government would in no way interfere 
for their protection. 

Gloomy had been the horizon of the 
China trade for some years, but at the end 
of 1838 it had become overclouded to a most 
alarming degree; though the oldest and 
wisest heads could not foresee the storm 
that was about to burst. Very probably the 
attempt to introduce an hospital-ship at 
Whampoa with the arrival of a ship in the 
previous year, laden with opium^ had ex- 
cited fears at the court of Pekin. No 
doubt it had been reported that the opium 
trade would again return to the " inner 
waters.'* Many of the foreign merchants 
were anxious that a stoppage should be put 
to the illicit trade at Whampoa, fearing that 
collisions would take place, and a general 
inconvenience to all trade ensue; but when 
the government and the Hong merchants 
were inactive, the British merchants havins: 

C 3 


no right to control, obedience could not be 
expected from all, nor could any particular 
individual be expected to give up a trade 
that others might reap all the advantages. 

How far Captain Elliot's notice was judi- 
cious must be left to the reader's consider- 
ation. But it has ever appeared to me that 
it was the duty of the Chinese government to 
enforce its own revenue laws, and that we 
had no business to co-operate with the 
local authorities. It had been the prac- 
tice of the East India Company, established 
by long experience, never on the ground of 
expediency, policy, or other pretext, to as- 
sist the Chinese in any difficulty; and the 
Chinese government might and would natu- 
rally conclude, that if Captain Elliot had 
power to drive the boats and schooners out 
of the " inner waters,*' he could equally force 
the receiving-ships to quit the "outer waters," 
and by these means strike at the root of the 
opium trade in the Canton River. 

To suppress this traffic is utterly impos- 
sible, until the whole character of the 
Chinese nation becomes altered. Opium 
they will have; and experience has proved 
that all the obstacles and difficulties thrown 


in the way of its introduction have only- 
tended to increase it, and extend its use. 
It would be just as easy to put down beer and 
gin drinking in England. I much question 
whether there are not as many English gin 
sufiPerers as there are Chinese opium sufferers, 
for the opium is used by them in the least 
deleterious manner, viz., by smoking. 

But, as I have before observed, it is not 
the question of health or morality with the 
Chinese. The fact is, our imports have given 
a great balance in our favour, as is shown in 
the followino; table : — 

Our purchases for the year ending June 30, 

1838, for teas, silk, and all other arti- £. 
cles, amount to ... 3,147,481 

Our sales of opium, metals, and cotton, to 5,637,052 

Balance in favour of British . . 2,489,571 

which was generally paid in sycee, the export 
of which, in 1837-8, amounted to nearly 
nine millions of dollars. 

Thus we see what was the chief and true 
reason for attempting to stop the trade in 
opium, and accordingly the edicts previously 
or subsequently to this year, enlarged more 
on the abstraction of the sycee than on the 
morals of the people. 


On the 1st of January^ 1839, Captain 
Elliot published a notice, that in consequence 
of the provincial government having con- 
sented to communicate direct with the chief 
superintendent, under the seal of the 
Kwaug-chow-foo and Kvvang-he, the public 
intercourse would be renewed ; and that the 
seals of his, Captain Elliot's; addresses to 
the governor should be broken by his ex- 

Accompanying the notice there were two 
letters, part of a correspondence between 
him and the governor regarding the opium 
traffic, in which he sets forth his ideas and 
those of the British government on the 
subject, and requests that his excellency will 
signify his pleasure to him through the pro- 
per officers. 

The second letter is the answer of Tang, 
sent through the before-named Chinese 
officers, and dated the 25th December, 1838, 
in which the following paragraph shows that 
he had already taken up the idea that the 
superintendent could expel the vessels: — 
*' The said superintendent came, I find, 
to Canton, in obedience to commands re- 
ceived from his sovereign, to exercise control 


over the merchants and seamen, to repress 
the depraved, and to extirpate evils. Hav- 
ing such commands given to him, he must 
needs also have powers. It is very inexpli- 
cable then, that these boats having, in viola- 
tion of the laws, entered the river, he should 
now find it difficult to send them out again, 
owing to his not having the confidence of 
all." Thus quickly did they try to take 
advantage of Captain Elliot's notice. 

The small craft having been driven out- 
side of the Bocca Tigris, an attempt was 
made to establish a line of large passage- 
boats between Canton and Macao, such boats 
to carry licenses from the Chinese autho- 
rities: but from the vexatious delays and 
restrictions imposed by the regulations under 
which they were allowed to run, they were 
not found to answer; and the Snipe, one 
of the number, was soon caught in the meshes 
of the law_, seized under a false or erroneous 
charge of smuggling, and eventually broken 
up in the river in front of the factories. 

During this month all trade was much 
impeded ; the Hong merchants hesitating to 
secure the ships through fear of being impli- 
cated in any smuggling transactions that 


might take place at Whampoa, and requiring 
a new bond from the masters of ships, which, 
from the wording of the bond, could not be 
complied with. 

At length the senior Hong merchant 
informed the foreign agents that, the ships, 
already arrived, would be secured under the 
usual bond of there being no opium on 
board; but that new regulations would be 
drawn up for the government of vessels 
arriving in the next season, and which regu- 
lations they ''most respectfully offered up 
to their lightning glance" on the 16th of 

By these new regulations they required a 
bond that no opium was on board, that no 
decked boats should be used, and that if any 
improper doings were discovered, they, the 
signers, would cheerfully submit to the penal- 
ties of the regulations, which enjoined con- 
fiscation of property with most enormous fines. 

Now, I have no hesitation in saying, that 
with such a bond the Chinese would not 
scruple secretly to deposit opium in a vessel 
to get her within the net of the law; so 
that disputes and litigations of every kind 
would have undoubtedly taken place, putting 


US precisely in the position with China, in 
which we are at the present moment. 

The foregoing observations may be by 
some considered illiberal towards the Chinese ; 
but I am perfectly borne out in it by their 
new law against opium-smoking*; in the 
first section of which, and sixth rule, the 
law is thus laid down: — " Any soldier or 
policeman, or any of those idle blackguards 

who infest every place, who shall, 

through malice, or a desire to extort money, 
themselves secrete opium in the house, that 
an accusation may be supported against their 
victim, shall, whether principal or accom- 
plice, be held punishable under the law." 

It has ever been the practice of the Chinese 
to try and introduce their own system of 
responsibility into all their transactions with 

* When the difficulties arose in Lord Amherst's 
embassy to China, as to the performance of the ko-too, 
Soo and Kwang, two high officers appointed to attend 
on the ambassador, " hinted that even if Lord Amherst 
compHed here, he might make any report he pleased on 
his return to England." Lord Amherst replied, that 
were he base enough to falsify the account, he had 
seventy-four witnesses with him, who would state the 
truth. — Ellis's Embassy to China. 


foreigners; as far back as 1820 they endea- 
voured to obtain bonds not to import opium, 
but which attempt was successfully resisted 
by the select committee. 

*' It may," says Dr. Morrison, in allusion 
to the subject, " be questioned, whether the 
rights of the port, which usage has esta- 
blished, should be carelessly abandoned. If 
the Chinese plead usage for the maintenance 
of old grievances, should the Europeans not 
plead usage for the maintenance of old rights? 
People, who will not give the benefit of na- 
tional law, cannot justly claim a right to the 
same practice as those who throw their courts 
and their laws and their lawyers open, to be 
employed by any or by everybody. When 
China shall give what European nations give 
to each other, then may she exact what they 
exact of each other." 

During January most extraordinary excite- 
ment prevailed, the local government stating 
that their proceedings to all traffickers in the 
drug would be guided by ** stern severity." 
Many innocent people were seized by the 
police for the purpose of being squeezed ; and 
rumour asserted that a general search of the 
shops and houses in Canton was to be made. 


On this, popular assemblies took place, and 
it became requisite for the local magistrates 
to announce by proclamation that nothing of 
the sort was contemplated. But so little 
confidence has one Chinaman in the assertion 
of another, that the gates of the streets were 
repaired lest the search should be attempted, 
the people having resolved to resist any such 

On the 21st of January a "fire ex- 
press*" arrived at Canton, by which Lin 
Tsihseu, commonly known to us as Lin, 
the governor of Hookwang, was announced 
to have been invested with the powers 
and seals of an imperial envoy, and directed 
to proceed post-haste to the province of 
Kwang-tung to investigate the affairs of 
the seaports of that province. The same 
day Tang, the governor, and E, the lieu- 
tenant-governor, received a despatch from 
the privy council, recapitulating the appoint- 
ment of Lin, calling on them to "scrub 

* The fire express travels at six hundred le per 
day, and the post-haste express at four hundred. About 
three le are equal to one English mile : these ex- 
presses are carried by inferior mandarins on horse- 


and wash away the filth," and directing Tang 
to consult with Lin on the best method for 
stopping the evil. 

Simultaneously with these, Tang and E 
published a proclamation to all foreigners, 
which commences by praising the bounty and 
goodness of the head of the Celestial Empire 
in allowing foreigners to trade with China ; 
goes on to state that it is utterly impossible 
they can exist without such trade ; that if 
the opium ships are sent away, the rest may 
continue, but that if they stubbornly remain 
there, the ports should be shut : — " The tea 
and rhubarb of the inner land will not be 
permitted to leave the country ; and thus 
may we instantly hold the life of any fo- 
reigner at our command." 

Dreadfully alarmed were these worthies 
at the appointment of Lin, and the Hong 
merchants and others looked on it with any- 
thing but complacent feelings. The high 
commissioner was known as a violent op- 
poser to the admission of opium on any 
terms, and as a bigot to all the ancient laws 
and customs of China, for which he was 
liighly admired by numbers of his fellow- 


A further consequence of these strict 
orders from Pekin, was the closing all the 
northern entrances of the factories, commonly- 
known as the back doors, and which had 
been opened after the great fire in the sub- 
urbs of Canton in 1821, when the factories 
were burnt. 

About this time there appeared a memo- 
rial to the emperor on the opium and sycee 
question from Keshen, viceroy of Petche-li, by 
whom we were, about a year and a half after- 
wards so completely bamboozled. That he is 
one of the most acute and wily of Chinese 
statesmen is, I believe, generally acknow- 
ledged ; and that he was fully aware how 
utterly incapable China was of contending 
against the British power, his subsequent 
memorials to the Emperor have proved. 

This memorial affords but a very poor idea 
of Chinese literature, when we find the most 
talented of her children writing such absurd 
nonsense. He falls into the most gross mis- 
takes in his calculations, asserting that in 
thirty or forty years, the use of opium has 
been the means of " several thousand myriad 
myriads of taels leaking out to the distant 
foreigners." Now this is a prodigious error ; 


for at ten millions per year, it would only 
amount to four hundred millions in forty 

It would appear inconceivable tliat such a 
miscalculation could be any other than wil- 
fully made to mislead his celestial master, 
did we not find this same learned and talented 
mandarin pencilling in continuation the fol- 
lowing most extraordinary nonsense : — 
"again, in reference to the foreign money 
which these said foreigners bring, it is all 
boiled with, and reduced by quicksilver. If 
you wrap it up, and put it past for several 
years without touching it, it will become 
moths and corroding insects, and their silver 
cups will change into feathers or wings. 
Their money is all of this species; and if we 
leave it for four or five hundred years, I'm 
sure I don't know what it will change into at 

Again, he says, alluding to our demand 
for tea and rhubarb : — " The reason of this 
is, that their climate is rough and rigorous, 
the sun and wind both fierce and strong ; 
day by day they subsist on beef and mutton ; 
the digestion of this food is not easy; their 
bowels are bound up, and they speedily die ; 


therefore it is, that every day after meals they 
partake of this divine medicine in order to get 
a motion of their bowels." 

To remark on these paragraphs would be 
to insult the understanding of my readers. 
He ends his memorial by advising the em- 
peror to forbid all foreign trade, until the 
opium traffic is by these means completely 
stopped ; to deal mildly with opium smokers, 
amongst whom will be found civilians and 
soldiers ; the rich, who take delight in doing 
good; clerks in public offices; "perhaps the 
most beautiful, the most refined, the most 
accomplished of our women ! and perhaps 
virtuous widows, chaste as the icicle itself;" 
with husbandmen, mechanics, and merchants. 
" If such," says he, *' are for the mere 
whiffing of a pipe of opium, to fall into the 
net of the law, then the clanking of their 
bonds and fetters will be heard in every 
highway; the prisons will be so crowded as 
not to leave an inch of space." 

Notwithstanding all these pleadings^, blood 
was the order of the day, and the deed which 
the Chinese had been prevented from com- 
mitting at midday on the 12th of December, 
1838, was hurriedly, and I may say, almost 


secretly, carried into effect on the 26th of 
February, 1839. A poor wretch^ Fung 
Angan, one of the ringleaders at the late 
affray at Whanipoa, in the afternoon of that 
day, when but few foreigners were on the spot, 
was brought into the factory square, and there 
strangled ; the officer attending the execu- 
tion departing as rapidly as he came, — a few 
minutes sufficing to end the whole affair. 

This cruel exhibition, this wanton invasion 
of the foreign factory grounds, must be exe- 
crated by all ; and the feeling of the resi- 
dents was speedily shown by the immediate 
hauling down of the national flags, which 
were usually displayed before the ditferent 

On the 4th of March, Captain Elliot ad- 
dressed a firm remonstrance to Tang on the 
subject of the late execution, requiring that 
his excellency should issue directions pro- 
hibiting any such matter taking place there 
in future. 

To this the governor did not deign to 
reply ; probably the expected arrival of Lin 
caused him so much anxiety respecting his 
late opium dealings, that he could not con- 
coct an answer. For it appears that Lin had 


already written a letter to hinij directing the 
seizure of a great number of officers and 
police runners, as parties criminated by their 
opium doings, and the military governor of 
Canton was said to be amongst the number. 
Many of those most open to accusations 
escaped ; but on the commissioner's arrival 
the chief of the police at Macao was arrested 
and ample confessions extorted from him, 
involving, it was said, many of the magis- 
trates of the surrounding districts. 

The naval officers at the Bocca Tigris 
thought he might perhaps begin with them ; 
and the admiral actually sent a deputation to 
Macao, to try and prevail upon the masters 
of the opium ships to " sail away." Gradu- 
ally these apprehensions subsided, as it be- 
came evident that Lin did not intend to 
punish the instruments, whose aid he might 
require in his future operations. Many of 
those who had been most deeply engaged in 
the traffic, purchased small quantities of 
opium and delivered it up, as having been 
seized by them. 

That the eunuchs about the palace were 
very extensive dealers in the drug, the many 
severe edicts show ; and in no port was the 


smuggling easier than at Tien-sing, about 
ninety miles south-east of Pekin. Most 
ample lists of all those engaged in the traffic 
were possessed by the influential men in 
the celestial city. In fact, connivance was 
purchased from them by the disclosure 
of the names of all those employed as con- 
trabandists ; so that when wanted, they could 
be squeezed to fill the pockets of their supe- 
riors, or strangled to evince the vigilance of 
some great man, and to exhibit the rigour of 
the law. The emperor himself is accused 
of having been in former days an admirer of 
the now-forbidden pipe. 

Lin's appointment and expected arrival 
created a great sensation at Canton ; his 
known stubbornness of character, his love for 
the old laws, and his unlimited powers, made 
the Hong merchants fear a rupture ; and his 
first steps after his arrival on the 1 0th March, 
were not calculated to allay the alarm ; for on 
the 18th he issued a proclamation, specially- 
addressed to the foreigners at Canton; on 
the heels of which followed one from the 
Hoppo, forbidding foreigners going to Macao. 

Lin, in the above-named edict, assures 
them that he has been sent down with •' irre- 


sponsible authority to prevent the influx of 
opium ;" that he has sworn to stand or fall 
by the opium question ; and that he will put 
down the bringing in the drug, and that to 
do so effectually, he will call out, if neces- 
sary, the whole land and sea force against 
such foreigners as may attempt to introduce 
it : and he further threatened that he would 
incite the common people to arise and utterly 
annihilate them I A threat never before 
heard of in the annals of any nation claiming 
to have an established government^ or pre- 
tending to civilization ; but it is on a par with 
the absurd boast of his irresponsible power, 
by which he implies that the lives and pro- 
perty of the foreigners were at his mercy. 

He commanded all the opium in the ships 
to be given up to his officers, and that all 
foreigners should enter into a bond that no 
ships should bring opium ; and that if any 
one did, her whole cargo should be confis- 
cated, and her people put to death ; — " and 
that they will willingly undergo it as a penalty 
of their crime." For conformity with these 
rules three days w^ere allowed. 

This edict naturally excited the indigna- 
tion of foreigners, and required their instant 

VOL. I. D 


attention to the safety of their threatened 
liberty, property, and lives. 

The Hong merchants, under Lin's direc- 
tions, visited the principal merchants to ascer- 
tain what offensive and defensive weapons they 
possessed, which, combined with the Hoppo 
edict before alluded to, showed in the high 
commissioner a determination, confirmed by 
his subsequent acts, to carry out his threats, 

A deputation on the 1 9th met the Hong 
merchants at the Consoo-hall, where a con- 
versation took place as to the giving up the 
opium, but which the deputation declined 
answering at the present moment. 

To a question, as to the probable amount 
of compensation that would be given by the 
Chinese government, should the opium be 
surrendered, the Hong merchants replied by 
referring to the present low price, and sup- 
posed that a portion of such low price would 
be gladly accepted. 

At the same meeting an edict from Lin to 
the Hong merchants was translated. In it 
he reproaches them for conniving at the 
smuggling trade, upbraids them for want of 
dignity in their visitings and transactions 
with foreigners, and winds up by threaten- 


ing to decapitate one or two of their 

When Lin first arrived, he received the 
Hong merchants seated behind a yellow 
satin screen, with the imperial arms embroi- 
dered thereon, the Hong merchants being on 
their knees, with their foreheads touching 
the ground. On one occasion he kept them 
six hours in this position, while asking them 
questions. Afterwards he allowed Howqua, 
in consequence of his great age, — to which 
much respect is paid in China, — to be seated 
on a low chair, but still sufficiently distant 
to mark their difference of rank. 

The general Chamber of Commerce was 
convened on the 2 1st; and, after some de- 
bating, an answer to the following purport was 
returned to the Hong merchants: — "That 
the communications made by the commis- 
sioner were of such vital importance, and 
involved such various interests, that it was 
not possible to give a hurried reply; but 
that they should be taken into consideration, 
and an answer returned at the earliest pos- 
sible period. At the same time they, the 
foreigners, were almost unanimously of opi- 
nion that it was absolutely necessary that 

D 2 


they should have nothing to do with the 
opium traffic." 

On this communication being made to Lin, 
he declared nothing would satisfy him but 
the delivering up of the opium ; and that if 
this demand was not complied with instanter, 
he would, on the morrow, sit in judgment on 
the Hong merchants, and decapitate two of 
their number. 

On this reply being known, an extraordi- 
nary meeting of the Chamber of Commerce 
was convened at ten o'clock at night, to 
take this reply into consideration. It was 
speedily agreed to request the attendance of 
the Hong merchants ; in compliance with 
which the following parties, Howqua, Mow- 
qua, Puankhequa, Samqua, senior and junior 
Poonhoyqua, Mingqua, Gowqua, Saoqua, 
Yetuck, Fontai, and Kinqua, very shortly 
afterwards arrived. On being questioned as 
to what passed between them and the im- 
perial commissioner, they stated, that on 
their presenting the words of the merchants' 
letters, he said, — "They are trifling with the 
Hong merchants, but that they should not 
do so with him: he declared, that if opium 
was not given up, he should be at the Consoo- 


hall to-morrow, at ten o'clock, and then he 
would show what he would do." 

The Hong merchants thought, that if 
one thousand chests were given up, Lin 
would be satisfied, and believe his order 
had been obeyed ; but they could not gua- 
rantee such result, or that the trade might 
proceed without molestation. And they 
further added, that if the opium, the ac- 
tual property of the residents, was given up, 
they could not venture to secure that what 
belonged to their consignees would be allowed 
to be taken away. 

After an animated debate it was resolved, 
that in consequence of the threat held out 
against the Hong merchants, one thousand 
and thirty-seven chests of opium should be 
surrendered to the government to be des- 
troyed. This quantity was to be supplied 
by joint contributions, a solemn protest 
acrainst the acts of the commissioner beins at 
the same time delivered with it. 

It is to be deeply regretted, that this 
meeting allowed their fears for the lives of 
the Hong merchants to be worked upon, 
and that they should have permitted them- 
selves to be driven into a contradiction of 


their morning statement, ''that they could 
not decide on such matters without time." 
Besides, if the commissioner had the right 
to force them to deliver up one single catti/ 
of opium, he had clearly an equal right to 
make them surrender all that was in the 
river. And was it not in some degree a tacit 
acknowledgment, that all the accusations and 
insulting assertions of the commissioner were 
correct ? The bad effect of thus yielding 
was soon felt. Indeed, the very hurried 
meeting of the Chamber of Commerce had 
operated badly on the mind of the violent 
and tyrannical Lin, who by it fancied he saw 
the agitation his steps had produced amongst 
the "barbarians;" and imagined that a little 
harder squeeze would make them obedient. 

On the morning of the 22nd, the Hong 
merchants went into the city to make the 
foregoing offer ; they were received by the 
Governor only, and assured that the quantity 
offered was not sufficient. It was rumoured 
that 4,000 chests would be the quantity re- 
quired to be given up; and Mr. L. Dent 
was prevailed upon by the Hong merchants, 
to promise to accompany them into the city 
on the next day, the imperial commissioner 


wishing, it was said, to have a personal inter- 
view with him. However, the treatment of 
Mr. Flint*, and the general treachery of the 
Chinese, being recalled to Mr. Dent's recol- 
lection, combined with the fact that the Im- 
perial commissioner had secured the services 
of two cooks, who had been long employed by 
foreigners, w^hence the inference was natu- 
rally drawn, that he contemplated detaining 
Mr. Dent as a hostage, he therefore re- 
scinded his promise, unless a safe-conduct 
should be given him, under the commis- 
sioner's hand and seal, he being the only 
irresponsible officer then present in Canton. 

March the 23rd. In the forenoon of this 
day, the two senior Hong merchants, How- 
qua and Mowqua, having a small loose iron 
chain thrown over their heads and resting 
on their shoulders, and accompanied by 
the rest of their order, ail without their 
official buttons, proceeded to Mr. Dent's 
house, and stated to him, that if he did not 
obey the commissioner's summons, and go 
into the city during the day, the two seniors 
above named would be beheaded before 

* See Davis's China. 


Mr. Dent firmly adhered to his refusal, 
unless the required safe-conduct were sent to 
him. A meeting, however, was convened in 
the hall of the British consulate, to consider 
the point. But Mr. Johnston, the second 
superintendent, refused Howqua and Mow- 
qua admission in their felonious and de- 
graded state ; the meeting was adjourned to 
the Chamber of Commerce, where Howqua 
again stated, that his head would be taken 
off, if Mr. Dent still persisted in his refusal. 

After the chamber had pointed out to 
Howqua, that they had no power over Mr. 
Dent's actions, he proposed, that all pre- 
sent should proceed to Mr. Dent's residence, 
which they accordingly did. 

While this was going on, other foreign 
merchants were at the Consoo-hall, holding 
a verbal communication with the Kwang- 
chow-foo ; on their quitting which, Mr. 
Morrison, the interpreter, was detained a 
prisoner for nearly two hours ; nor was he 
liberated, until Mr. Johnston had made an 
application to that purpose. 

When Howqua and his party had arrived 
at Mr. Dent's house, it was solemnly put to 
the foreigners present, whether Mr. Dent 


should proceed inside the city, without wait- 
ing for the protection of the commissioner's 
own chop and seal, to which the unanimous 
answer was in the negative. That determina- 
tion was communicated to the Hong mer- 
chants ; shortly after which a Weiyuen, or 
deputed officer, accompanied by certain Chi- 
nese magistrates, came to Mr. Dent's office, 
who, attended by Mr. Thorn as interpreter, 
and the foreign merchants, received them. 
The representation which he made was, that 
in visiting Mr. Dent, he was exceeding the 
instructions which had been given him, for 
he had been positively ordered to convey 
Mr. Dent before the commissioner; and by 
representing the danger to which he thus 
exposed himself, he endeavoured to work on 
his (Mr. Dent's) feelings, and prevail on him 
to accompany him. 

This officer was thanked for his civility in 
waiting on Mr. Dent, and for the manner in 
which he had executed his orders; and he 
was further assured, that no disrespect was 
intended to the commissioner, by Mr. Dent's 
refusal, but that it arose from the general 
wish that Mr. Dent should not enter the city 
without a o'uarantee under the commissioner's 

D 3 


own hand. If he should be taken by force 
no resistance would be offered; and after 
this representation, Mr. Dent retired. 

The conversation continued with the fo- 
reigners and the Weiyuen, on whom Mr. Dent 
waited a second time at his, the Weiyuen's, 
request, but without any intention of repair- 
ing to the city, unless the required guarantee 
were first given. This officer then stated that 
he would spend the night in Mr. Dent's 
house, and never leave it without him ; on 
which he was assured, if he continued in that 
mind he should be treated most hospitably, 
rinding all his arts of persuasion fail, he 
proposed that the second partner should ac- 
company him to the Consoo-house, and in 
person acquaint the Kwang-chow-foo with 
Mr. Dent's refusal. This was immediately 
agreed to, when Mr. Inglis, accompanied 
by four other gentlemen, proceeded to the 
Consoo-house. As soon as the Kwang-chow- 
foo became aware of Mr. Dent's refusal, 
fearing probably the ire of Lin, he proposed 
that the deputation should proceed into the 
city, and in person deliver the refusal to the 

This was also agreed to, when the cortege. 


accompanied by the linguist, proceeded 
through the Choo-lan gate to the temple of 
the Queen of Heaven, and there seated 
themselves in the outer court, but were 
shortly afterwards introduced to the private 
apartments of the priests, where they were 
served with sweetmeats and tea. 

After some delay, four high officers* en- 
tered the apartment and took their places 
in front and close to each other, while 
the Kwang-chow-foo and the Weiyuen, 
being of inferior rank, were seated on a side 

Mr. Thom was now sent for, and ques- 
tioned by these mandarins as to his name and 
country; then why Mr. Dent did not come, 
to which Mr. Thom gave the reasons before 
stated. On this they accused Mr. Dent of 
the greatest disrespect in not coming ; in re- 
ply they were assured nothing of the sort 
was intended. They threatened, however, 
that if Mr. Dent still persisted in his re- 
fusal, he should be dragged out of his house 
by force, when the high commissioner would 
most assuredly kill him; but that if Dent 

* The treasurer, judge, salt commissioner, and graia 


would willingly come and see the high com- 
missioner, the trade would be reopened. 
They asked Mr. Thom, " if their trade was 
not very dear to the foreigners ?'* His imme- 
diate reply was, ^' Yes, but Mr. Dent's life 
is dearer." On this the Hong merchants 
clapped their hands, exclaiming, *' Well 
said." The other gentlemen were ques- 
tioned much to the same purpose. 

Their examination being over, the trea- 
surer, agreeable to Chinese custom, sent out 
a present of four pieces of silk and two jars 
of wine to them, and then the deputation, 
guarded by a party of the Kwangkeep's 
troops carrying many lanterns, was con- 
ducted back to the Consoo-hall. 

At midnight the Hong merchants again 
visited Mr. Dent, urging their request and 
the commissioners commands; but on How- 
qua being reminded that the following day 
was the sabbath, the foreigners' day for reli- 
gious worship, he at once acceded to sus- 
pending the discussion. 

Early in the morning of the 23rd, Captain 
Elliot's circular, which had been issued at 
Macao on the previous day, was received at 
Canton, setting forth that, in consequence of 


her majesty's subjects being detained against 
their wills, and from other urgent reasons, 
all confidence in the moderation of the pro- 
vincial governmenl had ceased; he therefore 
required all British-owned ships at the outer 
anchorage, to proceed to Hong Kong bay, 
and to be prepared to resist any act of 

On the same day the superintendent him- 
self, feeling it his duty to throw himself f 
between the local government and the mer- 
chants, proceeded in the Louisa cutter to- 
wards Canton, quitting her at the fort below, 
on the evening of the 24th, in one of the 
boats of her majesty's ship Larne, to which 
the Chinese guard-boats gave chase, with 
the apparent intention of trying to capture 
him. In this attempt they were foiled by 
the Chinese porter, who unlocking and 
throwing the gates wide open, gave Captain 
Elliot a free entrance to the hall of the 
British consulate. 

Directions were immediately given to hoist 

The flag that brav'd a thousand years 
The battle and the breeze ; — 

and a public meeting of all foreigners was by 
verbal notice at once assembled. Captain 


Elliot then recapitulated the reasons he had 
for withdrawing all confidence in the local au- 
thorities; and stated, that he would demand 
passports for such of her majesty's subjects 
as might think fit to proceed outside, within 
the space of ten days from the date of his 
aj)plication reaching the government. He 
urged them all to prepare for moving their 
property on board the ships at Whampoa, 
and to forward to him sealed declarations 
with statements of all claims against the 
Chinese, together with estimates of all 
losses accruing from their present treatment. 
He further made it known, that should their 
passports be refused for more than three days, 
he should be driven to the conclusion that 
they were detained as hostages, with the 
view of compelling them to make unsuitable 
concession, — and, in fact, the event proved 
that such was the object; the notice ended 
by offering all the assistance in his power to 
the gentlemen of all nations at Canton. 

Captain Elliot then addressed a few words 
to the meeting, in which he exhorted them 
all to unanimity and moderation. " I will," 
exclaimed he, " remain with you to my last 
gasp. Thank God, we have a British man- 


of-war — small indeed she is — outside, com- 
manded by a British otticer." 

Both the notice and address were received 
with clieers, and Mr. Matheson expressed 
on behalf of the meetin<; their best thanks, 
stating that from what he knew of the gene- 
ral feeling, all were impressed with the 
necessity of union and moderation. 

The scene that followed the arrival of 
Captain Elliot is thus graphically described 
in the Cfiinei>e Repository: — 

** No sooner had Captain Elliot landed, 
than alarm spread rapidly, and orders to 
close every pass around the factories re- 
sounded from post to post amoiig the police. 
In a few minutes, the public square was 
cleared of all natives; the entrances to it 
closed and guarded; the door of the hongs, 
which on the two ])receding nights had 
been watched by a few coolies, were now 
thronged with large companies of them, 
armed with spears, and provided with lan- 
terns ; a triple cordon of boats was placed 
along the banks of the river, before the whole 
front of the factories, filled with armed men; 
soldiers were stationed on the roofs of the 
adjoining houses; and to close the scene. 


orders from tlie commissioner were given for 
all compradores and servants to leave the 
hongs. By about nine o'clock at nigl;t, not 
a native was remaining in the factories, and 
the foreigners, between two and three hun- 
dred in number, were their only inmates. 
Canton, or at least that part of it adjacent to 
the factories, was now virtually under mar- 
tial law. Patrolcs, sentinels, and officers, 
hastening hither and thither, with the blow- 
ing of trumpets and the beating of gongs, 
added confusion to the darkness and gloom 
of the night. Had there been only a little 
more excitement the factories mi^jht have 
become another '^ Black Hole,' or a scene of 
indiscriminate slaughter. In the course of 
the evening, some communication was made 
by Captain Elliot to the local authorities, 
supposed to be a demand for passports in 
accordance with his public notice of the pre- 
ceding day." 

Monday the 25th was devoted by the 
Chinese to completing their arrangements 
for the safe custody of the foreigners. Rafts 
were constructed and moored across the 
river abreast of Howqua's and the Macao 
passage forts, to guard against the arrival of 


armed boats from the shipping at Whampoa. 
All intercourse with Macao was cut off, not 
the smallest parcel or letter could be con- 
veyed, and one boatman, it was generally 
believed, was executed for being found to be 
the bearer of a letter from a foreigner. 

No food, no, not even a bucket of water, 
was allowed to be brought into the factories. 
The cooking, washing, milking cows, with 
all other domestic duties, had to be managed 
in the best way those not accustomed to per- 
form these minutiaj of life could devise. 
At night the Chinese took possession of a 
boat belonging to the George the Fourth, 
merchant ship, and which had been hauled 
up high and dry in front of the Creek hong. 

Tuesday, the 2Gth brought no relief to the 
prisoners; but the gallant defenders of their 
country, the armed coolies, with due consi- 
deration for their own comfort, erected bam- 
boo sheds to protect themselves from the 
sun; and companies, composed of parties of 
boatmen, porters, and other labourers, under 
the command of subaltern officers, marched 
round and round the square, manoeuvering 
like boys at a mock training. At night 
the Hong merchants directed the pleasure- 


boats belonging to the British merchants 
to be dragged into the factory-square, and 
turned keels up. 

A proclamation from Lin was posted on the 
walls of the superintendent's house, and on 
Minqua's hong, in consequence of which the 
chief superintendent issued a notice setting 
forth that he, together with all the foreigners 
in Canton, were forcibly detained by the pro- 
vincial government, and that he was com- 
manded by the high commissioner, under his 
official seals, to deliver into his, the commis 
sioner's hands, all opium held by the people 
of his, Captain Elliot's, country; he, there- 
fore, called upon all her majesty's subjects to 
surrender all the British-owned opium in 
their possession, to be delivered over to the 
Chinese government, sending to him without 
delay sealed lists of the quantity held by 
each ; and he, Captain Elliot, further engaged 
to hold himself responsible, on the behalf of 
the crown, for the value of the same, pro- 
vided it was surrendered by six o'clock of 
that day. 

This requisition was promptly complied 
with ; it may, however, perhaps be matter of 
doubt whether Captain Elliot did not fall 


into error in receiving that which was con- 
signed to American agents ; as it surely ought 
to have been surrendered by the consul of 
that republic ; since by those means the 
Americans would have had their proper 
share of the odium thrown on this particular 

Lin now issued several edicts relative to 
the delivering up of the drug, and replied to 
Mr. King, an American merchant, who peti- 
tioned that his commercial proceedings might 
be allowed to go on, as he had never been 
directly or indirectly engaged in the opium 
trade, that he was aware of that circumstance, 
but that Mr. King ought to have prevailed 
on all the other foreigners to give up their 
opium; which, if they would do, commerce 
should go on as usual, otherwise for a single 
individual he could not change his "great 

There is no doubt that Lin was much 
astonished at the effect of his measures, and 
at the enormous booty, amounting to 20,283 
chests, which he was about to obtain ; and 
that in consequence of its unexpected mag- 
nitude, he wrote to Pekin for further instruc- 
tions, and proposed sending the plundered 


opium to the capital ; for we find the empe- 
ror replying that he was satisfied of the truth 
of Lin's report ; but that as the distance was 
so great, and the expense of carriage would 
consequently be extremely heavy, Lin should 
take steps for its destruction. 

On Good Friday, the 29th of March, 
divine service was performed in the factories ; 
and on this day the coolies were brought 
into the Hongs by the linguists to draw 
water ; an office which many of the gentle- 
men had been under the necessity of per- 
forming for themselves since the 24th in- 
stant ; but on the evening of this day, the 
remaining pleasure-boats, which had been 
before spared, were hauled up into the cen- 
tre of the scpiare. 

On Saturday, Lin demanded that 10,000 
chests should be given up within ten days; 
in reply to which he was informed that exact 
compliance was impossible, as the whole 
quantity surrendered to the British govern- 
ment, though it should ultimately be deli- 
vered up to his excellency, was not then in 
the Chinese waters. 

On the same day the commissioner sent a 
present of sheep, pigs, fowls, &c., to the 


British superintendent, acceptance of which 
was very properly declined. The Hong 
merchants, at the same time, sending similar 
supplies to the foreign residents; by some of 
whom they were accepted, and by others 

On the 31st, the linguists took upon them- 
selves the part of compradores, and supplied 
provisions, for which they of course were 

Lin, before he would release one of the 
hostages out of his clutches, became very 
urgent for the surrender of the 20,283 chests 
which Captain Elliot had stated should be 
given up. On Captain Elliot's applying for 
Mr. Johnston, the second superintendent, 
to be allowed to go outside to collect the 
vessels together, from which he might obtain 
the opium, Lin argued that Captain Elliot 
having, as it appeared, the power to compel 
the merchants to surrender the opium, must 
of course equally have the power to require 
them to sign orders for its surrender* ; 
** therefore he stated that it was unnecessary 

* When opium was formerly purchased by the smug- 
glers at Canton, they gave the purchasers orders to 
receive the proper quantity from the depot-ships. 


that Johnston should go outside ;" in fact, 
it was quite evident that Lin did not intend 
to let any of them be released until he had 
got possession of the drug. 

On the 1st of April a notice in the 
English language, from Hovvqua, Mowqua, 
and the Hong merchants, was appended to 
the garden-gate of the British consulate, 
warning the foreigners not to tempt any 
natives to serve in their dwellings, which 
might bo searched by the mandarins, when, 
if any natives were found, they would most 
assuredly be put to death; in which case 
they should consider the shedding the blood 
of such natives as attributable to them. 

Now, really, if old Howqua could be guilty 
of making what we jocularly term an " April 
fool," one would imagine he was trying to do 
so with all the residents ; because if legally 
put to death, such natives would suffer for 
disobeying a Chinese law; and if illegally, 
their blood would be most assuredly upon 
the heads of their unjust judges, certainly 
not on those of their employers. 

On the 3rdj Captain Elliot announced 
that the following arrangements had been 
made for the delivery of the opium, and to 


which the high commissioner had agreed, 
viz.: "that the rompradores and servants 
should be restored after one-fourth part of 
the whole quantity had been delivered ; that 
the trade should be opened after three-fourths 
had been given up; and that every thing 
should proceed as usual after the delivery of 
the whole; (the signification of which last 
expression her majesty's superintendent pro- 
fessed he did not understand ;) that any 
breach of faith, — and his excellency, not 
unnaturally, is pleased to suppose that 
breach of faith may be possible, — should be 
visited after three days of loose performance 
of engagements, with the cutting off of sup- 
plies of fresh water; after three days more, 
with the withholding provision; and after 
three days more, with the last degree of 
severity on Captain Elliot himself." Here 
is a pretty distinct threat against the life of 
her majesty's representative. 

Captain Elliot made no remarks on these 
threats, but contented himself with uro-ino- on 
the community the necessity of enablino- him 
to fulfil his engagements with the commis- 
sioner; the honour of the nation depending 
on the scrupulous good faith with which he 


fulfilled them. And nobly did they respond 
to him : for it being found that in conse- 
quence of the sailing of some vessels while 
the discussion was pending, the whole 
quantity could not be made up, Messrs, 
Matheson and Dent came forward and 
purchased the required quantity, taking bills 
from Captain Elliot on the home government 
for the amount. These bills were refused 
when presented for acceptance, but were 
ultimately paid by Captain Elliot with part 
of the Canton ransom. 

On the evening of Wednesday, the 3rd of 
April, the second superintendent, with Mr. 
Thorn, as Chinese interpreter, attended by 
the Hong merchants and linguists in a chop- 
boat escorted by Chinese officers, proceeded 
to Macao to superintend the surrender of 
the opium from the ships at the outside 

On the 5th the following *' sweet," or 
voluntary bond, was presented by the Hong 
merchants to the committee of the Chamber 
of Commerce, who, on receiving it, adjourned 
until Monday, the 8th April. As much has 
been said respecting it, I have deemed it 
worth while to introduce it in this place. 


*' A duly prepared bond, to be voluntarily 
given by the English superintendent, Elliot, 
and deputy superintendent, Johnston, at 
the head of the English merchants, A &c., 
the Indian merchants, B &c. ; the Moorish 

merchants, C &c.; the merchants 

D; and the merchants, E; and the 

merchants, F c^'c. ; respecting 

the eternal doing away with the opium 

"We do hereby pledge ourselves with 
and for the merchants of the English nation, 
and of the several countries her dependen- 
cies, residing and trading in the city of 
Canton, and who, cherished and saturated 
with the tender benevolence of the celestial 
court, have heaped up delightful gain to a 
countless extent; that whereas certain per- 
sons, avariciously bent on making profit, 
have of late years brought the smoking filth 
called opium into the Chinese waters, and 
there stored it up in receiving-vessels for the 
purpose of selling it ; all which is in direct 
contravention of the prohibitory laws of the 
celestial kingdom. The great emperor has 
now appointed a high officer of state to come 
to Canton to inquire into and manage the 

VOL. I. E 


business,, and we now begin to learn that the 
prohibitory laws are really severe in the ex- 
treme. Utterly unable to overcome the alarm 
and trepidation into which we have been 
thrown, we reverently deliver up to govern- 
ment every particle of opium on board the 
receiving-ships, earnestly entreating that a 
memorial may be sent to the great emperor, 
praying him, in his great mercy, to over- 
look our past offences. 

"The empty receiving-ships shall be all 
sent back to their countries. Elliot and 
Johnston shall forthwith petition the king of 
their country, sternly to command all the 
merchants tremblingly to obey the prohi- 
bitory laws of the celestial empire, which 
forbid the importation of opium into China, 
and to leave off manufacturing the drug. 
Should opium be discovered on board any 
merchant-vessel arriving in Canton, after the 
autumn of this year, the said vessel and all 
her cargo shall be confiscated to government, 
and she shall not be allowed to trade ; and 
all the parties concerned shall, m compliance 
with the laws of the celestial empire, be put 
to death, willingly submitting to their doom ! 
All vessels which, having sailed from their 


countries before the present rigorous prohi- 
bitions were known, and shall arrive in China 
during the spring and summer months, shall, 
immediately they arrive, deliver up all the 
opium they may have on board, without 
daring to secrete the least particle. 

"We do conjointly declare that this our 
bond is just and true." 

Of this required bond, which I am happy 
to say only two Englishmen were found who 
would sign, the Americans held the same opi- 
nion as the English, though they subsequently, 
for the sake of their trade, put their signatures 
to it. Mr. Senn van Basel, the consul for the 
Netherlands, having from the first refused 
his concurrence^ has never departed from 
that declaration ; and he quitted Canton as 
soon as a passage-boat was allowed to pass. 

On the morning of the 6th, the back en- 
trance of the Creek Hong was more strongly 
secured by the Chinese*. Great quantities 
of rain fell during this month, which caused 
a plentiful crop of spring rice ; so that this 

♦ This, with the back entrances of the Dutch, British, 
Fungtae, Povvshun, Spanish, and Danish Hongs, had 
been blocked up on the 23rd of March. 

E 2 


staff of Chinese existence was low in price, 
or great disturbances would have taken place, 
from the distress among the lower orders, 
occasioned by the entire stoppage of trade. 

On Monday the 8th, the adjourned meet- 
ing assembled to take the proposed bond 
into consideration ; when it was decided, that 
the chamber was purely for commercial pur- 
poses; that being prisoners in their hongs, 
and all trade prevented, their functions must 
necessarily cease until the trade was re- 
opened ; and that with this resolution the 
Hong merchants should be made acquainted. 

On the evening of the 9th the Ame- 
rican and Netherlands' consuls, with the 
chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, in 
compliance with a requisition from the 
Kwang-chow-foo, attended at the Consoo- 
house ; there being present the above-named 
functionary, the Poon-yu and Namhoy ma- 
gistrates, and the Weiyuen, or deputed offi- 
cer. In company with the consuls were 
Mr. King, an American merchant, and Mr. 
J. Fearon, as interpreter; the party being 
completed by the presence of the Hong 
merchants Howqua, Mowqua, and Samqua, 
with the linguists. 


On the consuls and others entering the 
hall the Chinese officers rose, and the usual 
compliments were exchanged; and after the 
foreigners had been introduced to the Kwang- 
chow-foo, they seated themselves, as had 
been previously arranged, when business 
commenced, which consisted of nothing more 
than urging on them to give the required 
bond, which they steadily refused to do, 
without previously consulting their respective 

Every species of threat and persuasion was 
used to drive or tempt them into doing so ; 
and the Chefoo exclaimed, "The bond! the 
bond ! we must have the bond, and nothing 
but the bond !'' It was all in vain ; they were 
staunch in abiding by their resolution, and 
he escaped from the dilemma by giving them 
until the next day to consider of their final 
determination, dismissing them with "Now 
go home and go to bed." 

Thus were two men, who possessed no 
opium, with an utter recklessness of justice, 
detained prisoners in Canton ; their trade as 
well as that of others stopped, and them- 
selves grossly insulted by low language and 
false accusations, set forth in the commis- 


sioner's edict. And to wliat are we com- 
pelled to attribute his object? That he 
might state to the emperor, and circulate 
through China, that he had made all the 
foreigners tremble and humbly sue at the 
foot of the celestial throne. 

On the 10th their excellencies the com- 
missioner and the governor^ left Canton for 
the Bogue, to witness in person the delivery 
up of the opium. Having, in their progress 
down the river, to pass through the whole of 
the foreign vessels at Whampoa (twenty- 
four in number) they might easily have 
been captured; but British good faith, 
combined with the strong and peaceable 
injunctions of the superintendent, prevented 
such an act on the part of the irritated com- 

Captain Elliot gave notice on the 14th, 
that he had received letters dated at Chuenpee 
on the 12th, that only 650 chests had been 
at that time delivered up, owing to a want 
of Chinese boats, but that an increased num- 
ber had been promised. The high commis- 
sioner also directed the servants to be 
restored. Prior to this day 7000 chests had 
been given up ; and it was expected that the 


moiety would be delivered by the evening 
of the 18th. 

There were about thirty civilians, all the 
Chinese officers in the river, and the crea- 
tures of the commissioner, employed at the 
receipt of the drug, all of whom were deeply 
versed in the trade ; the Hong merchants 
and linjTuists beino; also in attendance. So 
artfully arranged was the whole system, 
one party watching the other, that embezzle- 
ment was almost impossible; still the lower 
orders and troops contrived to conceal small 
quantities about their persons, though, 
when detected, they were most severely 

During his stay at Chuenpee, Lin evinced 
a wish to annoy the English in every way. 
One day he would insist on the ships being 
anchored in a row, like chop-boats, and was 
furious when informed that neither the winds 
nor the waves would admit of its being done. 
His bile was again excited, because some of 
the vessels were very small, and had but little 
of the drug on board, insisting that larger 
ones should be brought to Chuenpee, threat- 
ening starvation and decapitation, if his orders 
were not obeyed. 


When the moiety was delivered, Mr.- 
Johnston intimated that he should stop the 
further surrender, unless the stipulation of 
allowing the passage-boats to run was com- 
plied with. At this Lin expressed the utmost 
indignation. V¥as he to be coerced ? And lie 
accordingly embarked for Canton. He actually 
went part of the way up the river, vowing he 
would receive no more opium, and that he 
would execute the law, or rather vent his 
fury on the foreigners detained by him at 
Canton ; but finding his threats of no avail, 
he returned, and the passage-boats were 
allowed again to run. 

During his stay at Chuenpee, his secretary 
and aides-de-camp, with other intelligent 
men, were employed making inquiries, and 
noting down the answers on every branch of 
policyand trade, and especially as to what might 
be the consequence of his present measure ; 
and what compensation would be most agree- 
able to the owners of the opium. They very 
particularly inquired whether Russia and 
England were not at war, and seemed much 
astonished to learn that they were in pro- 
found peace. These observations were daily 
presented to the commissioner, who had 


formed a thick volume by the time he 
returned to Canton. 

On the 4th of May the superintendent 
gave notice, that it was his purpose to remain 
in Canton, until his public obligations to the 
Chinese government were fulfilled. On the 
same day the Hong merchants informed the 
chairman of the commercial chamber, that 
directions for the opening of the trade had 
been given ; but so late in the day was this 
information conveyed, that the merchants 
could not avail themselves of it until Monday, 
the 6th, and then only in a very limited 
manner, not being allowed to visit the Hongs 
to superintend the purchase of their goods. 
Permission was also given for the licensed 
boats to run, subject to being searched at 
the military stations ; and notice was given 
that a Weiyuen would attend when each 
vessel left the factories, to ascertain who were 
her passengers. 

At this time sixteen of the merchants 
were still detained at Canton, charged with 
being concerned in the opium dealing; and 
among these sixteen gentlemen there were 
several individuals who had never been en- 
gaged in that or any other contraband trade. 

E 3 


At noon of the 5th the armed guard and 
coolies were dismissed, who appeared not a 
little pleased at escaping from their new and 
harassing duty. 

Monday, the Gth of May, about fifty 
foreigners availed themselves of the licensed 
passage-boats, happy to get out of the 
clutches of the Chinese ; but to prevent the 
escape of the proscribed, a government boat 
had been moored at the landing-place, the 
inspecting officer being accommodated with 
a bamboo shed on the Point. Each indivi- 
dual who embarked had to answer to his 
name, as it was called, and to submit to the 
examination of the officers and linguist, 
their trunks and baf2:ga2;e undero-oin"; the 
same operation. 

Thus did his excellency the high com- 
missioner observe his " bigotted regard for 
good faith." Repeatedly had he promised 
that all should be forgotten when the opium 
was given up; yet we find him proscribing 
sixteen gentlemen ; and after every catty of 
opium that was in the Chinese waters had 
been surrendered, issuing commands for the 
departure from China of one gentleman, 
who for some time by his directions had 


been under the especial espionage of the 
local authorities; and following it up two 
days after by an equally peremptory order to 
three partners of a firm, who had allowed 
themselves to be robbed of the greatest quan- 
tity of opiuni;, together with one of their 
clerks, who had not been eighteen months in 
the country and whose only crime was bear- 
ing the name of and being nephew to the 
senior partner in the firm^ to quit China 
forthwith ; and further, before they were 
permitted to obey this order, they were 
required to sign a bond " never to return to 
China under feigned names;" and that, 
should they so return, they would willingly 
submit to the extreme penalty of the law. 

By a paper dated the 8th, the Kwang- 
chow-foo communicated to Captain Elliot 
and the American and Dutch consuls, the 
orders of the commissioner re^ardino;" the 
punishment of foreigners dealing in opium, 
in which he declares, that parties found to 
be therein concerned should be capitally 
executed, and their property confiscated. 
This, after the specimen of justice to the 
sixteen individuals proscribed, could never 
be tolerated. It would have been subjecting 


the lives, liberty, and property of the whole 
community to the power of the Hong mer- 
chants, linguists, compradores, and even 
coolies ; while the reckless conduct of some 
opium speculator outside, might have in- 
volved the safety of the fair-dealing resi- 

Captain Elliot in a notice, on the 11th, 
pointed out "that persons remaining would 
be understood by the government as assent- 
ino; to the reasonableness of the before- 
mentioned law." 

A proclamation of the 14th sets forth 
that, agreeably with directions from Lin, the 
back doors of all foreign factories were to be 
blocked up, nor were the foreigners to be 
allowed to use them as formerly; the square 
in front of the factories was to be railed 
round, the passages through all the streets 
near them to be cut off, and the walls inclos- 
inji the forei":n dwellings to be made higcher 
and stronger, with only one gate, having a 
military guard established thereat. The 
shopkeepers in old and new China-street 
were directed to shut up their shops, and 
remove within ten days, and ail those who 
had committed the sin of hanging up sign- 


boards^ with their calling in foreign charac- 
ters, were required to remove them, or, to use 
the words of the edict, — " if there are any 
who dare to walk in their former footsteps, 
most assuredly they shall catch three inches 
of law," and " then suffer capitally." 

On the 21st of May, 1839, the surrender 
of the 20,283 chests of opium w^as com- 
pleted. On the 22nd a notice from the 
superintendent referring to his previous 
notices, enjoined all her majesty's subjects 
to make preparations for quitting Canton 
before or with her majesty's establishment, 
which would take place immediately ; and it 
further directed that sealed" lists of claims 
against the Chinese should be sent in. 

The superintendent's secretary gave notice 
on the 23rd, that Captain Elliot would leave 
for Whampoa at eleven o'clock the next 
day ; and particularly requested that there 
might be no general assemblage of her 
majesty's subjects. 

On the same day, Lin and Tang directed 
the Hong merchants to see that the remain- 
ing ten of the sixteen proscribed merchants 
did speedily return to their own country ; 
for, says the edict, — '* Now that the store- 


ships have given up the entire amount of the 
opium, it is not expedient that they should 
be allowed any longer to delay their stay in 
Kwang-tung, lest their old cunning should 
bud forth again." They were, however, to 
give voluntary bonds before their departure, 
similar to those demanded from the six 
previously mentioned. 

Howqua and Movvqua not arriving to 
identify Captain Elliot and the other British 
residents, it was 5 p.m. of the 24th before 
they finally quitted the factories, after an 
imprisonment of seven weeks. Immediately 
on their quitting, the guard of coolies at 
the British consulate, and at the gate leading 
into China-street, were removed. 

Much speculation existed as to the inten- 
tion of the commissioner with regard to the 
method of dealing with the surrendered 
opium ; but on the 31st it was decided by 
the appearance of a proclamation, in which 
Lin states, that having made a report by 
express to the emperor, of 20,283 chests of 
opium being surrendered by the depot-ships^ 
he received the following despatch from the 
cabinet council : — 

*' Lin Tsihseu and his colleagues are to 


assemble the civil and military officers, and 
destroy the opium before their eyes ; thus 
manifesting to the natives dwelling on the 
sea-coast, and the foreigners of the outside 
nations, an awful warning. Respect this. 
Obey respectfully." 

On the 1st of June, the high commis- 
sioner, the governor, and all the officers, 
civil and military, proceeded to Chunhow, 
near the Bocca Tigris ; and on the 4th, 
commenced operations for the destruction of 
2,500,000/. of forcibly -seized British pro- 
perty; large trenches, were lined with stone, 
and the opium being decomposed in them by 
the use of quicklime, rock salt, and water, 
was allowed to run into the sea. 

Gross attempts were made to deceive the 
emperor, by reports from the provinces, of 
numbers of individuals having given up 
opium-smoking, and delivered up their pipes 
to the authorities. But the emperor was not 
to be deceived, and remarked on the number 
of new ones. His imperial majesty was 
well aware that a new pipe was of no value; 
whereas, an old one, like the e'cume de mer, 
is of great value, from the quantity of essen- 
tial oil which the bowl contains. The author 


has one in his possession, which was found in 
a mandarin box, when the fort of Wangtong 
was captured. The stem of this pipe, is 
cane, perfectly black from use, is seven- 
teen inches long, and one inch in diameter, 
having a turned mouthpiece of buffalo's 
horn ; six inches of the opposite end are 
encased in copper beautifully inlaid with 
silver. Midway on this, is a round copper 
socket, three inches in circumference, in 
which is placed the bowl, formed of fine clay 
handsomely chased, and resembling in shape 
a flattened turnip, with a puncture about 
the size of a pin's head on the upper side ; 
the diameter of this bowl is nearly three 

To complete his establishment, the smoker 
has a tray, about ten inches by six, made of 
some fancy wood, on which is placed two 
small lamps, generally three ivory boxes con- 
taining the drug, a silver or steel needle, 
six inches long, pointed at one end and 
barbed at the other. The smoker, assuming 
a recumbent position, with the head elevated, 
attaches to the fine end of the needle a very 
small quantity of opium, and holding it to 
the lamps, reduces it to the proper state 


for inhaling ; when applying it with a cir- 
cular motion at the incision in the bowl, 
he draws the vapour through the pipe by 
the power of his lungs, much like the action 
of smoking the hookah. Two or three 
whiffs are all a pipe furnishes, one or two 
of which are sufficient for a novice ; while 
an old stager will smoke for two or three 
hours without being affected. 

The opium, when purchased from the 
importer, passes through a refining process, 
and frequently is mixed with some kind of 

That the emperor had received a grossly 
false report, forwarded to him by Lin, had 
been long rumoured at Canton; and proba- 
bly such was the case. But that he was ulti- 
mately correctly informed, as to the forced 
surrender, by some of the authorities, either 
publicly or privately, few can doubt who 
are acquainted with the policy of Chinese 
courts ; nor is it impossible, that Lin him- 
self might have sent a secret despatch for 
the emperor's particular information. At 
all events, his approval, in the following 
edict, of the measures taken by Lin, at once 
makes him a party to the insults and injuries 


heaped on the British crown, through the 
injury done to its subjects. 

*' To-day, Lin Tsihseu, by a post haste 
despatch, has reported, respecting the ma- 
nagement of the foreign (opium) ships 
and surrender of the opium. His proceed- 
ing's are worthy of the highest praise. Lin 
and his coadjutors, in their searching into, 
and management of this business, have 
arranged extremely well, and it is right I 
should praise their zeal. I order that Lin 
and Tan^j be referred to the board of civil 
office^ for appropriate rewards. I also order^ 
that E, the lieutenant-governor of Kwano:- 
tung, Yeu, the comptroller of the maritime 
customs, and Kwan, the admiral, be referred 
to the said board, for becoming rewards. 
Respect this." 

Meetings of British merchants were held 
at Macao, about the middle of June, for the 
purpose of communicating with the super- 
intendent, as some parties were preparing 
to send British ships and cargoes to Wham- 
poa ; and also to ascertain from him, if there 
was a likelihood of an arranjremcnt of exist- 
ing difficulties; to which Captain Elliot 
distinctly replied, that the entrance of British 


ships and goods within the Bocca Tigris, 
would involve the individuals in most serious 
difficulties; and he again warned thein, "in 
the most emphatic manner," that, in the 
present state of affairs, it would be perilous 
" in the hiji^hest deo^ree." 

Who, indeed, could doubt this, after the 
treatment already experienced; for opium 
still continued to be carried to Hong Kong 
and to the east coast of China. Had the ships 
been once within the grasp of the commis- 
sioner, it is more than probable, that he 
would have reacted all his former doings, 
and once more imprisoned the persons and 
seized the property of the innocent and too- 
confiding merchants. 

A transhipping trade, shortly after this, 
sprung up, which tended to destroy the 
unanimity that had existed between the 
residents ; each striving to do the best for 
their consignees. At this time, the Ameri- 
cans made a splendid harvest ; their ships 
being employed to take up from Hong 
Kong, and bring down from Canton, the 
British cargoes, at the very moderate sum of 
twelve dollars and a half per ton : thus " they 
kindly accommodated" their English friends. 


That the Chinese were now anxious for 
trade the "clear proclamation" publicly pla- 
carded at Macao, by Lew and Tseang, the 
sub-prefects at Kwang-chow and Macao, 
plainly showed ; and these gentry, who 
were ever ready to style their own country- 
men " traitorous natives," for dealing with 
foreigners, did not hesitate to excite British 
subjects to form a connection with the 
Hong merchants and local government, in 
opposition to their own superintendent's 

Captain Elliot, on the 21st, in a very 
spirited memorial to Lin, warmly remon- 
strated aofainst the act of Lew and Tseangr, 
and thus reproached him with his want 
of faith : — " Terrible, indeed, will be his 
imperial majesty's indignation, when he 
learns that the oblisiations into which the 
high commissioner entered, under his seal, 
to the officers of a foreign nation, were all 

He proceeds to recapitulate the violations, 
and states the reasons for the ships not enter- 
ing the Bocca Tigris, "because there is no 
safety for a handful of defenceless men, when 
within the grasp of the government of Can- 


ton." This was a bitter dose to the haughty- 

On the 2nd of July tlie American mer- 
chants held a meeting to discuss the subject 
of signing the bond, often before alluded to, 
which was written in Chinese, though it had 
been the custom formerly to write it in 

After some discussion with Howqua, the 
required bond was, on the 3rd, signed by the 
masters of the different American vessels, it 
being then written in the Chinese and English 
language, the former at the top of the sheet, 
and the latter underneath, the signatures of 
the masters of the ship being between the 
two. The signers protested to their vice- 
consul, that they only signed to that part 
which was written in English,' — not to any 
interpretation that the Chinese words might 

New regulations for trade were issued, 
which principally related to measuring ships 
in the outer and inner waters. The 
Chinese wisely imagined that if any differ- 
ence appeared in their draughts of water, 
above or below bar, they should be able to 
ascertain whether such ship or ships had 


been enfjaged in smujxarlinff, The same re- 
gulations extended to placing guards and 
excise officers round the vessels, and about 
the river. 

During this month their excellencies the 
commissioner, governor, and lieutenant-go- 
vernor, promulgated the new and severe laws 
against the use of or trade in opium, the 
tender mercies of which will astonish our 
more civilized European brethren : — " It 
must be now apparent to all, when the 
awful severity of the new law is considered, 
that the traffic in opium must be cut oiF 
completely and for ever, ere the son of hea- 
ven will stay his hand. As for the seller of 
opium, if he do not quickly forsake his vile 
calling, decapitation will follow conviction ; 
for the smoker of opium, if he do not quickly 
renounce the habit, there will be little chance 
of escape from strangulation. Persist in 
the vice, and die ! renounce it, and live ! 
There is no man but fears to look on death, 
and clings to life ; tremble then at the 
penalty, and flee the crime!" 

The mildest sentence was transportation. 
But if the code were to be carried out, one 
half of the nation would suffer death, and the 


Other half would be sent to the cold country*. 
Keshen, in his memorial before alluded to, 
pretty clearly admits this statement to be 
correct in the following cool paragraph: — 

" Now, in the instance of a rebellion, when 
we levy soldiers to exterminate the rebels, 
when we have " clipped their wings," and 
massacred their wives and children, it only 
amounts to a few hundred or a few thousands 
of people after all, and there the affair ends ! 
But, on the other hand, as regards opium 
smokers, if you wish to annihilate them, let 
us look at the provinces of Fokien and Canton 
alone, where out of every ten men some 
seven or eight smoke opium ; and I fear that 
even should you butcher some eighty or a 
hundred thousand people, yet would you be 
as far from effecting your object as ever !" 

On the 7th of July the English were again 
plunged into further difficulties by the death 
of a Chinese at Hong Kong, in a squabble 
with some English and American sailors. 
The high commissioner required that the 
supposed murderer should be given up to be 
dealt with agreeably to the barbarous and 

* The term used when banished to Tartary or the 
Chinese Siberia. 


absurd law of China, which requires life for 
life, if the homicide be a foreigner. 

This demand Captain Elliot as positively 
refused to comply with ; for after a most 
careful and strict investigation, he was unable 
to fix such charge of murder on any British 
subject, and his positive instructions from 
home were, not in any case to give up a Bri- 
tish subject to be dealt with by any Chinese 
authorities. When the murder of the poor 
gunner of the Lady Hughes* is remem- 

* The facts were simply these. In 1784, in firing a 
salute, three Chinese in a chop-boat alongside the Lady 
Hughes country ship were badly injured, one of whom 
died next day. Mr. Smith, the supercargo of the ship, 
having been decoyed within the city, " a linguist soon 
arrived at the factory, bringing a letter from Mr. Smith 
to the captain of his ship, desiring he would send up the 
gunner, or some other person, to he tried by the man- 
darins; and this was forwarded on the 29th to Whampoa, 
backed by a letter from the council. On the 30th, the 
unfortunate gunner, an old man, was brought to Canton, 
and sent into the city, with an address, ' signed by the 
English council, and the representatives of the foreign 
nations,' in his favour. He was received by a mandarin 
of superior rank, who verbally stated that no apprehen- 
sions need be entertained as to his life, and that when 
the emperor's answer had been obtained, he should be 
restored. In about an hour after, Mr. Smith returned 


bered, with many other cases equally cruel 
and deceptive, no one can be astonished at 
such an order. 

The superintendent subsequently promised 
that further exertion should be made to dis- 
cover the guilty party, and that should he be 
found, he would be tried according to the 
laws of his own country, in presence of '* the 
honourable Chinese officers." But to a cun- 
ning attempt which they made to get Cap- 
tain Elliot to admit that the body of a 
drowned seaman found at Hong Kong, was 
that of the homicide, with the view of estab- 
lishing their right to have executed the 
culprit, if he had not committed suicide, the 
superintendent replied he could not say that 
the corpse was that of the individual con- 
cerned in the death of Lin Weihe. 

Lin finding her majesty's officer would not 
yield obedience to his cruel injustice, marched 
troops on Macao, directing the Portuguese 
government to drive the English away; and 
on the 15th of August, all native servants 
were again commanded to quit their masters; 

to his factory, stating that he had been very civilly 
treated. On the 8th of January following, the unhappy 
gunner was strangled. — Davis's China. 
VOL. I. F 


and the resident Chinese of Macao were 
forbidden to sell provisions. 

These proclamations were placarded on 
boards and paraded about the streets of 
Macao b}'^ the police, who, beating gongs at 
the same time, announced the will of the 
government in this new and novel way. Most 
of the English families were supplied with 
provisions through the Portuguese servants : 
even they had great difficulty in obtaining 
them, the price of all commodities being 
unusually high ; which occasioned great suf- 
ferino; to the lower orders of Portuguese and 
natives. Captain Elliot, not wishing to bring 
any further hardships on the Portuguese com- 
munity, gave notice that he should quit for 
some of the vessels at Hong Kong on the 
23rd, and withdrew on that day with his 

About ten o'clock at night, on the 24th of 
August, the Black Joke, a small English 
schooner, proceeding from Macao to Hong 
Kong, with a Mr. Moss and his property, 
while at anchor under the south end of the 
Island of Lantoa, was attacked in a most 
piratical and murderous manner by several 
Chinese boats. Mr. Moss was most cruelly 


cut and hacked about his person : his left 
ear was cut off and forced into his mouth, 
and an attempt was made to push it down 
his throat ; five of the lascar crew were 
murdered. The schooner's tindal* saved 
himself by jumping overboard and hanging 
on the rudder chains; while they speared 
and threw overboard another, who neverthe- 
less succeeded in swimming; to the land. 
They then plundered the vessel and at- 
tempted to set her on fire; when the Harriet 
opportunely heaving iu sight, these miscreants 
forsook their prey, making sail towards the 
Bocca Tigris. In their hurry to escape they 
left a mandarin's cap and knife behind them. 
Mr. Hall, of the Harriet, taking the Black 
Joke in tow, proceeded with her to the 

The leader of this piratical band of assas- 
sins, AVang-chung, a naval officer, was shortly 
after this dastardly attack, rewarded and 
promoted by the high commissioner. Thus 
are the foulest deeds rewarded by the Chinese 
authorities ; and the emperor some time 
afterwards evinced his approval by directing 

* The tindal is the cockswain or lascar master of a 

F 2 


that this Wang-cbung should be promoted 
to the rank of Toosze, and ordering his actions 
to be held up to the imperial navy as worthy 
of imitation. 

On the 25th of August, the Chinese local 
authorities informed the governor of Macao, 
that they intended to surround the dwellings 
of the British with troops ; thus reacting 
their former violence. The governor of 
Macao though most anxious to afford all the 
aid in his power, candidly admitted his 
inability to give them any efficient protec- 

The English, therefore, not wishing to 
compromise their Portuguese friends with 
the Chinese, and feeling in the absence of all 
vessels of war, that they were wholly unpro- 
tected, determined to embark on board the 
vessels at anchor in Hong Kong Bay and in 
the Typa; thus voluntarily leaving Macao, 
rather than trust to the tender mercies of the 

Great were the inconveniences and priva- 
tions they had to go through. Mothers with 
their children, merchants with their whole 
establishments, crowded on board deep laden 
vessels; while delicate females in the last 


Stage of pregnancy were hurried off on the 
decks of small craft. 

Will any one now be found to call this 
merely an opium war? We may further 
add, as if all before-enacted injuries and 
insults were not sufficient, that Lin and the 
" infamous Tang," on the last day of August, 
gave orders to the local officers, civil and 
military, "by land and by water, faithfully 
to intercept, and wholly to cut off, from the 
English, all supplies, that they may be made 
to fear and to pay the tribute oi' fealty ." He 
then commands the " gentry and elders, 
shopkeepers and inhabitants of the outer 
villages," to purchase arms; and if any 
foreigners should attempt to land, to fire 
upon them, or make them prisoners, and 
** thereby stop their power to drink, even 
when they land to get water from the 
springs." But they were not to presume to 
go off to any of the vessels. 

On the 30th, her majesty's ship Volage, 
Captain H. Smith, arrived from India, and 
was followed a few days afterwards by her 
majesty's ship Hyacinth, Commander Warren. 

The arrival of the vessels added much to 
the spirit of the British community, who 


now felt they had a certain protection from 
Lin's barbarity. These vessels, as they 
arrived, joined the fleet at Hong Kong^ 
where provisions could be procured, though 
at very high prices and only in small 

Lin and Tang, who for some time had 
been residing at Heang-shan, determined on 
the 3rd of this month, to honour Macao 
with their presence; early on which day a 
long procession was seen moving from Tseen- 
shan towards the city. The Portuguese 
troops, accompanied by the band, proceeded 
to the barrier to receive their excellencies, 
who entered that gate about eight o'clock, 
and proceeded to the temple of Leenfung, 
where they were met by the procurador with 
a deputation of magistrates of Macao. 

The procession consisted of a Chinese 
officer on horseback, followed by the gong 
and banner-bearers; next to which was a 
detachment of Chinese troops, immediately 
in advance of the high commissioner's sedan, 
which was carried by eight Chinese and 
attended bv a Portuo-uese g-uard of honour. 
Then came a second detachment of native 
troops preceding governor Tang's chair, 


the rear of the procession being formed by 
a detachment of soldiers. The whole party 
amounted to about two liundred individuals. 
By the variety of their banners and uniforms 
the military part of the procession was evi- 
dently from different regiments. Their wea- 
pons were as various as their accoutrements, 
consisting of bows, arrows, spears, match- 
locks, and blunderbusses; and yet these 
*' celestials'* cut but a sorry figure compared 
with the smart Portuguese troops. 

After their excellencies had partaken of 
refreshments, the procession again set forward, 
making a circuit through the city, where the 
Chinese inhabitants had erected several tri- 
umphal arches, ornamented with festoons and 
highly laudatory scrawls; and as the chairs 
of these dignitaries approached the doors of 
their houses, they set out tables ornamented 
with vases of flowers, thus manifesting ** their 
profound gratitude for his coming to save 
them from a deadly vice," as was observed 
by an old and confirmed opium-smoker. 

The shipping at Hong Kong being much 
distressed for supplies in consequence of the 
increased vigilance of the mandarins at Cow- 
loon, it was decided to attack their position, 


which was carried into effect on the 4th, 
with the Louisa cutter and the boats of the 
Volage and merchant-ships. 

After a smart engagement but little was 
effected, though several Chinese were killed; 
and many were wounded on both sides. 
This drew forth a violent edict from Lin, 
directing the celestial forces to make an 
exterminating attack on the barbarians, and 
place Elliot's life in his hands." 

On the evening of the 11th, four or five 
war-junks and several other small craft an- 
chored near the Spanish brig Bilbaino, then 
lying in the Typa; but no suspicion was 
created in the minds of her crew by the cir- 
cumstance. A little after three in the morn- 
ing of the 12th, a large fire-raft was sent by 
them against the Spaniard, but by the ex- 
ertions of her crew it was avoided. This 
being perceived by the crews of the junks, 
they immediately attacked her, boarding with 
between two or three hundred men, and 
setting fire to her in all directions; hauling 
down the Spanish flag which the mate had 
hoisted, and to which he had particularly 
called their attention, in doing which he was 
cruelly wounded and beaten with bamboos. 


The crew of the brig jumped overboard, 
but were, with the exception of three, 
picked up and landed. The mate and a 
Sulu lad were kept prisoners, and as soon as 
the destruction of the vessel was certain 
were conveyed to Chunhow, at which place 
the Chinese high commissioner Lin was 
residing, to whose residence they were led 
in triumphal procession; banners being dis- 
played, music playing, and themselves guarded 
as prisoners by foot and horse-soldiers. When 
they arrived, they were immediately heavily 
ironed and forced on their knees. While in 
that position they underwent a lengthened 
examination with a view of leading them to 
confess that the Bilbaino was an English 
vessel, which they of course had stoutly 

During thirteen days these examinations 
were constantly renewed; sometimes a drawn 
sword was held over the mate's head, and 
instant decapitation threatened if he did not 
confess the fact to be as they wished to esta- 
blish it. At other times they examined them 
separately, showing them a large box of dol- 
lars, affirming that the other prisoner had 
confessed that the ship in question was an 

F 3 


English vessel, and had already proceeded to 
Macao with a similar box; and that the 
individual, who was then under examination, 
should have the same on making a similar 
confession. However, all their artful at- 
tempts proved to be in vain ; and after twentj- 
five days of cruel treatment these two poor 
fellows were sent to Canton, and at that 
place were kept close prisoners for nearly 
six months ; neither were they liberated 
until a strong memorial on the subject was 
dispatched from a Spanish naval officer, who 
arrived from Manilla for the purpose. 

There is no doubt but this vessel was sup- 
posed by the Chinese to be the Tan-sze-no, 
alias Virginia, one of the opium-ships that 
had been at Chuenpee at the time of the 
surrender of the opium, but which vessel had 
Jeft the Chinese waters some months. The 
principle actor in this piratical proceeding 
was Wang-cbung, notorious for his attack 
upon the Black Joke. 

Negotiations were now going on for the 
re-opening of the general trade outside the 
Bocca Tigris, and the Hong merchants were 
at Macao making the necessary arrangements. 

Four propositions were forwarded in the 


name of the commissioner relative to this 
arrangement, to which Captain Elliot re- 
plied ; and it was finally agreed, as appeared 
by Captain Elliot's notice on the 20th of 
October, that the trade should be carried on 
at the anchorage between Anunghoy and 
Chuenpee ; the vessels to be subject to be 
searched, and to pay the same duties as if 
proceeding to Whampoa; but no bond was to 
be given regarding opium. 

The Hong merchants had returned to 
Canton, the British families were returninsr 
to Macao, and everything promised a tem- 
porary lull. But this was shortly ended by 
Lin making a sudden demand to have the 
bond signed, and the murderer of Lin Weihe 
given up. 

To what do we attribute this sudden va- 
cillation of conduct ? To the ship Thomas 
Coutts, Warner, entering the Bogue in oppo- 
sition to the notice of her majesty's superin- 
tendent, and the required bond being signed 
by her master. Lin now indulged the hope 
that all the other ships would follow her 
example : at all events he had hostages in 
his possession by whom he might hope to 
coerce us j and Kwan, the admiral, had also 


assured him that he would destroy the English 
corvettes which were in the river. 

In consequence of these peremptory de- 
mands of Lin, Captain Elliot, on the 20th 
of Octoher, issued a notice requiring all 
British ships to remove to the anchorage in 
Toong-koo Bay, that at Hong Kong being 
liable to the attacks of fire-ships ; at the same 
time he addressed a letter to Captain Smith, 
of H.M.S. Volage, stating the violation by 
the imperial high commissioner of the late 
treaty, which Captain Elliot mainly attri- 
buted to the entry of a British vessel within 
the Bocca Tigris. He therefore called upon 
Captain Smith to use such methods as he 
thought best, to prevent British vessels from 
placing themselves within the grasp of the 
Chinese authorities. Upon the receipt of 
that requisition, Captain Smith issued a no- 
tice reiterating the orders of the British 

Immediately upon his violation of treaty, 
Lin issued orders for the delivery up for 
trial of "five men detained by Elliot*j" 

* This alludes to five men that had been detained 
during the inquiry made by Captain Elliot relative to 
the death of Lin Weihe. 


supplies were again stopped^ and the native 
servants once more commanded to quit their 
employers, and the Portuguese again directed 
to drive them out of Macao. If the care:o 
ships did not give the bond demanded 
within three days, they were to go away; 
in failure of which, it was declared they 
would be destroyed by fire. The Chinese 
immediately commenced constructing fire- 
ships for the purpose. 

On the 2nd of November, the Volage and 
Hyacinth anchored off Chuenpee, her majes- 
ty's superintendent being on board the 
Volage, accompanied by Mr. Morrison, in- 
terpreter to her Britannic majesty's esta- 
blishment in China. Captain Smith, in his 
capacity of senior naval officer, sent a letter 
on board the Chinese admiral's junk, with 
an inclosure for the high commissioner, re- 
quiring him to withdraw his orders for the 
destruction of the English vessels by fire ; 
and also, that British subjects should be 
allowed to reside in Macao, unmolested by 
the Chinese authorities, pending instruc- 
tions from the British government. This 
letter was taken on board the admiral's junk 
by a lieutenant of the Volage, who was 


politely received by Admiral Kwan, and 
an answer promised on the morrow. 

In the evenings a Chinese linguist, accom- 
panied by a pilot, visited the Volage, and 
stated that they had come from Canton, with 
a proper chop in reply to Captain Smith's, 
which was on board the admiral's junk: they 
expressed a wish that Mr. Morrison would go 
and fetch it. This was of course refused. 
They retired, promising to return with 
it immediately, but did not do so until the 
next morning, when the same parties arrived 
in a large boat ; but contrary to their usual 
practice they got into a small one to go 
alongside the Volage, when they stated the 
chop was in the large boat, and requested it 
might be sent for. This was again declined. 
Finding all their persuasions fail to obtain 
their object, they returned and brought it 
themselves. To the surprise of every one it 
proved to be Captain Smith's identical des- 
patch returned apparently as it had been 

The Chinese fleet were now observed to 
be weighing, and standing towards her ma- 
jesty's ships, which were quickly got under 
weigh, and prepared for action. Though the 


movements of the Chinese evidently indicated 
mischief, still Captains Smith and Elliot 
were adverse to inflicting on the poor crews 
of the junks the severe chastisement which 
they must have suffered, if the ships' broad- 
sides had been opened upon them. Messen- 
gers were consequently again dispatched 
with the original letter, and a peremptory 
requisition sent to the admiral to return 
to his usual anchorage. To this he at once 
replied, that no terms could be entertained 
until the homicide should be delivered over 
to the Chinese, to be dealt with according to 
their laws. 

The junks to the number of sixteen, stood 
on, and soon anchored in a line from Chuen- 
pee point stretching to the southward, while 
an outer line was formed of thirteen fire 
vessels, each having a black flag flying. It 
was then thought necessary to attack tliem ; 
and an action ensued, which is thus described 
by an officer of the Volage. 

*' The first vessel to receive our fire was 
one of their fire-rafts; we threw a fev/ shot 
upon her in passing, and in a few seconds 
observed her to settle in the water, and 
almost immediately go down. One of the 


war-junks was now on the beam of the Vo- 
lage, and fired a couple of guns at her, 
which passed over. These were immediately 
returned, several of the shot telling on- the 
junk; and almost instantly we heard an ex- 
plosion, and on looking round saw through 
the envelope of the smoke the fragments of 
the unfortunate junk floating as it were 
in the air. She had blown up. When the 
smoke cleared somewhat off, out of whatever 
number she might have had on board, we 
could see but three about the wreck. When 
blown up she was not distant from the Volage 
more than fifty yards. Pieces of the wreck 
fell on board, and the cover of the pinnace 
was set on fire. A boat was sent to save 
what offered on the wreck, but was fired at 
by the Chinese, and returned. 

" The Hyacinth came in astern of the 
Volage, passed her, and got among the den- 
ser part of the junks; and an awful warning 
they must have had from a vessel of her force! 
The firing was now indiscriminate upon any 
vessel where the guns would tell, and the 
admiral got his full share; more particularly 
from the Hyacinth, she being further to the 
northward and nearer to him. Vast destruc- 


tion of life not being so much the object as 
a wholesome chastisement, the Volage kept 
more to the southward, to prevent the junks 
escaping in that direction and drive them 
back to the anchorage, to which, in the morn- 
ing, they had declined to go ; but towards 
which, by this time, they were all too glad to 
get by every means in their power. 

" The first shot or two was the signal to 
many of them to be off, but the admiral and 
a few others kept their station longer, firing 
with more spirit than we had been generally 
led to expect. Their guns and powder must 
have been good, from the distance they car- 
ried; but not being fitted for elevation or 
depression, all their shot were too high to 
have any effect^ except on the spars and rig- 
ging. The Volage got some shot through 
her sails, and the Hyacinth was a good deal 
cut up in her rigging and spars; a 12-pound 
shot lodged in her mizen-mast, and one went 
through her main-yard, requiring it to be 
secured. Their wretched gunnery hurt no 
one. The firing commenced about twelve, 
and at one they were all sunk, dispersed, or 
flying. At this time the Hyacinth was rang- 
ing up alongside the admiral, and would soon 


have sunk him ; the chastisement was ah'eady 
severe, and she was recalled. The result of 
the whole three junks sunk, one blown 
up, many deserted, and the rest flying." 

When all the insults and injuries which 
had for the last six months been heaped on 
the English are considered, none will be found 
to regret the punishment which Captain 
Smith thus thought it necessary to inflict; — a 
punishment which would have been more 
severe, had not the kindness of Captain El- 
liot's disposition led him to request Captain 
Smith, after a short time, to spare the poor 
■Chinese; in consequence of which the signal 
was made to the Hyacinth to discontinue the 
engagement, at the moment when she would 
have sent the admiral's junk to the bottom. 

The Royal Saxon, an English merchant 
ship, imitating the conduct of the Thomas 
Coutts, just previous to the engagement at- 
tempted to enter the Bocca Tigris, but a shot 
fired across her bows from the Volage, caused 
her to drop her anchor. She subsequently 
proceeded to Whampoa. 

On Lin's hearing of the engagement, he 
became frantic with rage, and penned a 
memorial to the emperor, praying for his 


dismissal ; but on further consideration, 
findino: that a detail of the transaction would 
not redound to the honour of the celestial 
empire, or **keep his celestial majesty's face 
clean," and that it would criminate a num- 
ber of the imperial officers, he destroyed his 
despatches, substituting for it a flaming 
gazette, in which, Kwan is described as a 
perfect hero. The following extract will 
speak for itself. 

The British corvettes are designated as 
mere boats, — sanpans, viz.^ three planks — that 
earnestly begged to enter the Bocca Tigris, 
*'but their prayers not having been granted, 
they attempted to steal through the Tiger's 

*' The admiral, Kwan, then fired, and 
killed several of their crew. Now," con- 
tinues the report, "they ought to have fled 
for their lives; but, instead, they dared to 
return the fire, which was like beating an 
egg upon the stones ! and they were, in con- 
sequence, destroyed by the admiral's fire. 
The admiral was sitting in his cabin, when 
he was wounded by a splinter, in the face ; 
and several of the soldiers, losing their 
footing, fell into the sea, and four of them 


were drowned. The admiral immediately 
shifted his flag, and stood by the mast^ 
cheering on his crew with the most perfect 
composure to battle, undaunted at the 
heavy labour ; he, indeed, displayed the 
terror of his name, and again discharged a 
broadside, which killed several tens of the 
English barbarians. After this, they will 
never be allowed to peep clandestinely about 
the Tiger's Month." 

This flaming report gained for Kwan, — 
who really was a brave old fellow, — a mighty 
warlike Tartar title, Fa-hae-long-oli Pa- 
too-loo ; his senior ado. being summoned to 
Pekin, to receive the patent of this title 
from the hands of the emperor, to be con- 
veyed to Kwan, who was himself too valua- 
ble to be spared from his post, at that crisis. 

Some time afterwards, a true statement 
was sent to Pekin, but which the emperor 
professed not to believe, though he evidently 
had some doubt of the truth of Lin's report; 
for he removed him from the most honourable 
and lucrative government in the empire^, to 
one four degrees lower. That he was highly 
displeased with all the proceedings taking 
place, may be inferred from the fact that 


Tang was also reduced to the lowest of the 
governments, — Hotaou Tsung, or governor of 
the rivers. Probably his known riches had 
assisted in this appointment, the banks of the 
Yellow River requiring great repair. By 
this means, Tang would undergo a system 
of gentle squeezing, which he himself had 
been practising on his countrymen at Can- 
ton. Lin's wings were also much clipped ; 
■while, at the same time, an opportunity 
was left him of carrying out the improve- 
ments and plans he had so often suggested 
to the emperor. 

On the 26th of November, a proclama- 
tion was issued by Lin and Tang, professing 
to cut off the trade of the English for ever, 
since they would not execute the required 
bond ; at the same time making exceptions 
in favour of the Thomas Coutts, and Royal 
Saxon. If proof were wanting, this shews 
the bad effect on the general trade which 
resulted from the masters of two ships having 
signed the bond and entered the Bogue. 

The month of December passed without 
anything of peculiar interest transpiring. 
Thus nearly ten months had elapsed since 
Lin entered Canton with the declared 


intention of immediately suppressing the 
traffic in opium, and placing legal trade on 
a more secure footing. Had he done so ? 
No. That he had driven the opium trade 
from Whampoa, is true ; but he had ex- 
tended it along the whole coast of China, 
where above twenty vessels, sliips, brigs, 
and schooners, were now employed ; some- 
times fighting with, but mostly bribing the 

Opium, which had previously to and after 
the seizure of the 20,283 chests, and the 
other vigorous measures of the commis- 
sioner, fallen to about 150 or 200 dollars per 
chest, was now selling readily at 800, 900, 
and even 1,000 dollars per chest, realising 
enormous fortunes for those who had fore- 
seen this reaction, and had bought up quan- 
tities of the drug at the above very low 

The greatest reliance was placed by the 
Chinese dealers in the honour of the masters 
of the clippers. Frequently, when pressed 
by the guard-boats, they would leave quan- 
tities of their silver on board, until some 
future opportunity offered of their getting 
the opium. 


A gentleman informed me that on one of 
his voyages along the coast, he had above 
50,000 dollars in bags left on board his 
vessel for better than five months, without 
even knowing to whom they belonged ; the 
boat that brought them having come along- 
side late at night and put them on board. 

The way in which the Chinese prove their 
ownershij) to dollars thus left is curious and 
simple : in each bag is deposited a wooden 
tally, notched in some peculiar manner. 
When the owner comes to reclaim his money 
or opium^ he produces a duplicate tally fit- 
ting exactly into the one in the bag: by this 
dumb evidence, he at once substantiates his 

When the Modeste was in the outer an- 
chorage at Chusan, we had frequent appli- 
cations made to us for opium. On one occa- 
sion the Cruizer had a bag of dollars thrown 
on board her at night, a boat coming with an 
opium order next day; and Fokie could b-e 
hardly convinced that he had mistaken the 

On the 5th of January, 1840, Lin and the 
authorities promulgated an edict, containing 
an imperial rescript, upbraiding the English 


with their undutiful behaviour in firing 
upon, and killing the imperial subjects at 
Covvloon and Chuenpee. 

The emperor therein declares, that if they 
should now be willing to sign the bond, they 
are not to be allowed to do so, their conduct 
being like that of "the unfilial C/ie bird, which 
attacks and tries to destroy its mother as 
soon as it is hatched/' rendering them, the 
English, no longer deserving of the imperial 
clemency. Therefore Lin is commanded to 
put a stop to their trade, and drive their 
vessels out of the celestial waters. At the 
same time he invites other foreign nations to 
continue their traffic; but warns them, under 
pain of the heaviest punishment, not to give 
shelter or protection to the English bar- 

Captain Smith, on the 8th of the month, 
gave notice that, in consequence of the 
formal demands made by her majesty's super- 
intendent to the Chinese government for 
the release of Mr. Gribble not being attended 
to, he should, agreeably to a requisition from 
that officer, establish a blockade of the port 
and river of Canton on the 15th day of the 
month. This, no doubt, had the desired 


effect on Lin, for on the 14tli Mr. Gribble 
was released from his confinement, and on 
the 1 7th delivered on board the Volaw. 

Lin gave permission about the 25th, for 
British manfuctures, the property of Ameri- 
cans, to be imported in American sliips ; 
which, in fact, was nullified by the Hoppo 
stating in an edict, that the Americans were 
not to carry away more cargo than could be 
purchased with their imported dolhirs, which 
were to be weighed at the Custom-house, 
and then sent to the Hong merchants. 

On the 31st of January, Yuh, a Taou-tae, 
arrived at Macao, having secret instructions 
from the commissioner. February 1st, Lin 
appeared to imagine that he could put the 
Chinese navy on a footing with, and equal to 
oppose the British fleet ; for, throwing off his 
old prejudice of adhering to Chinese customs, 
he purchased from the Americans the Cam- 
bridge, a worn-out Indiaman of 1,200 tons 
burthen, then under the American flag. She 
was to be fitted as a frigate ; and it will be 
found she made more noise at the first bar in 
1841, than anything else, as will be explained 
hereafter. He also was in treaty for the 
purchase of three Danish ships ; but not 

VOL. I. G 


being able to come to terms with the owners, 
he, being an adept at spoliation and plunder, 
issued an edict confiscating them, — the one 
for having an English name on her stcrn^ 
and the other because she had been, and 
might be still, British property. 

An edict was also published from Lin and 
Tang, but dated the 1st of January, direct- 
ing that no foreign ship should be allowed to 
export more tea or rhubarb than was requi- 
site for the consumption of their own coun- 
tries ; thus wisely surmising that the English 
would not be supplied by the rest. 

The purpose of Yuh's visit now appeared 
from an edict which he issued, stating that 
he had come with a number of troops for 
the express purpose of seizing Captain Elliot 
and four British subjects, who, in defiance 
of the commissioner's commands, had re- 
turned to Macao. A number of Chinese 
soldiers had been observed about the town, 
and several war -junks had been hauled into 
the inner harbour, but no suspicion had been 
excited by these movements. 

On February the 5th, the spring tides 
being at their greatest height, the Hyacinth, 
18, Captain Warren, was directed by Cap- 


tain Smith, in consequence of the threats 
hekl out by the edict before alkided to, to 
enter the inner harbour for the better pro- 
tection of her majesty's subjects on shore. 
This proceeding gave great umbrage to the 
Portuguese governor, who remonstrated 
against the ship having been brought, or 
remaining there, it being contrary to the 
port regulations^ for a foreign man-of-war to 
enter that anchorage. He was assured by 
Captain Warren, that no slight or insult was 
intended to the Portuguese nation, but that 
his ship could not be removed unless he, 
the governor, guaranteed the safety of the 
British residents. 

The next day the Hyacinth returned to 
her usual anchorage, the governor declaring 
that the Chinese troops had been prevailed 
upon to leave the town, and those which 
were marching on it had retired, and that the 
English should not be interfered with. This 
demonstration had a most tranquillizing and 
salutary effect ; and for some time afterwards 
the British residents in Macao remained free 
from threats or annoyances from the Chinese. 

On the 6th, Lin, in obedience to orders 
received from Pekin, divested himself of the 

G 2 


imperial seal, sinking simply into the viceroy 
of the Kwang-tung and Kvvang-se provinces. 
The notorious Tang was also ordered to Pekin, 
where it was supposed his various delin- 
quencies had been privately reported; but his 
party had sufficient interest at court to 
smother inquiry, for on the 16th he returned 
to Canton, being appointed to the govern- 
ment of Fokien. 

Most of the intrigues about the court are 
managed by the ladies and eunuchs; and 
the mandarin, who has by timely presents 
secured good petticoat interest, may do pretty 
nearly what he likes without fearing any very 
rigid inquiry. But where is it otherwise? 

Lin also, about this time, relinquished his 
pretensions to the three Danish vessels con- 
fiscated by him on the 1st of the month; 
nor was he then willing to purchase them for 
the government at any price. 

An edict of Lin's, dated the 5th, was pub- 
lished at Macao on the 20th, wherein he 
threatens to stop all trade with that place, 
and to prevent all supplies of provisions 
from entering the city, if the Portuguese 
still continued to harbour or shelter the 
English. Many respectable Chinese families 


left the town, fearing this edict would be 
acted upon ; and frequent robberies and 
assaults were committed by the Chinese, in 
the streets and neighbourhood of that place. 

On the 28th and 29th, attempts were 
made to set fire to the fleet of merchant 
vessels atToong-koo, but they were foiled by 
the good look out which was kept on board 
those vessels. On the 3rd of March the 
Taou-tae Yuh warned the people not to be 
alarmed at reports, spread by idle vagabonds 
to answer their own purposes. He informed 
them that he was incorruptible, affixing, at 
the same time, a board over his office, on 
which he had expressed his desire that his 
posterity might be cut off, should he ever 
acquire money by unlawful means. 

On the 6th, the procurador of Macao, 
having addressed the Kangshan magistrate 
on the subject of the number of thieves and 
vagabonds in the neighbourhood, received 
an assurance that measures had been taken 
to search out, and punish them with the 
utmost rigour of the law. An edict was 
also published from the governor and Hoppo 
of Canton, announcing that the trade was to 
be re-opened between that place and Macao. 


News was also received, that the reigning 
empress of China had expired on the 16th 
of February. This information was an- 
nounced by edicts written with blue ink, — the 
iDourning colour in China, The govern- 
ment officers were directed to observe the 
customary mourning, which requires them to 
go a hundred days without shaving the head, 
and to remove from their caps their balls 
or buttons, with the crimson silk tassel that 
falls over its crown. The mourning colour 
is white, dull grey, or ash; and persons wear- 
ing these colours will be easily knovi^n to be 
in mourning, by having glass or crystal but- 
tons on their dresses, instead of the usual 
gilt or golden ones. Every Chinaman has 
five buttons down the loose and comfortable 
jacket he wears. 

A long and most extraordinary memorial 
appeared on the 7th, fromTsang-wang-yen, a 
man honoured by the friendship of his celes- 
tial majesty Taoukwang, t. e. "the glory of 
reason*," enjoying, it is said, the most fami- 

* Each emperor of China, on assuming' the yellow, 
selects some special appellation. The reigning sovereign 
selected for himself, ' ' The glory or eflFulgence of 


liar converse with the " brother of the sun 
and moon." We have a perfect right, there- 
fore, to take for granted, that the emperor had 
previously approved of his wild and visionary- 
schemes . 

This Tsang-wang-yen is a native of the 
district of Heang-shan*, and, from the 
locality in which he was brought up, must 
know something of foreigners; but this me- 
morial is another proof — if proofs are wanting 
in addition to that of Keshen's and others — 
of the heathen darkness which envelopes the 
minds of the learned, educated, and talented 
of the Chinese race. Tsang-wang-yen, or 
Tsang-moggan, as he is styled at Canton, 
is prefect of Shun-teen-foo, in the province 
of Petche-li ; he is fooyin, or head of all 
chefoos ; in fact, he is the prince of prefects. 

This memorial opens with the usual Ja- 
panese maxim of exclusiveness: to stop all 
intercourse with other nations. ** What," 
adds he, " these said foreigners must have to 
preserve their lives, and what they cannot do 
a single day without, are tea and rhubarb ; 
and these, be it remembered, are the produce 
of our inner land. No matter what country 
* Macao is situated in this district. 


these ships may come from, do not let a single 
one of them hokl commercial intercourse 
with us." 

Through these measures he assumed that 
great embarrassment would necessarily arise 
from the cargoes of the ships remaining un- 
sold ; and that from their not being allowed 
to receive the annual supply of tea and 
rhubarb, their lives would be completely in 
the power of his imperial master, and that 
consequently they would be compelled to 
beg and sue for trade. 

After recommending different plans for 
punishing traitorous natives and for arming 
the sea coast, he acknowledges that, from 
the size and strength of our ships, and the 
quickness with which w^e handle our guns, 
their own navy to be quite incapable of 
subduirjg us; and therefore he advises the 
adoption of the following wise plan, as one 
which must inevitably succeed : — " But as 
the intercourse of the said foreigners is 
cut off, and they being but scantily sup- 
plied with necessaries, the pressure of their 
sufferings will not allow them to remain a 
long time anchored in the outer ocean, — they 
must of necessity again enter our inner 


waters, and ramble and spy about as before. 
Now I would still further entice them to come 
in by means of our cruisers ; and in the 
meantime I would call out and get ready 
several hundreds of the people living on the 
sea-coast, — of those who are the stoutest, the 
bravest, and the best swimmers and divers ; 
I would cause them at night to divide into 
groups, to go diving straight on board the 
foreign ships, and taking the said foreigners 
at unawares, massacre every individual among 
them. Or, I would fit up several hundreds 
of fire-ships beforehand, and cause the most 
skilful swimmers and divers* to go on board 
of them ; these should take advantage of the 
wind, and let the fire-ships go ; and close in 
the wake of these should come our armed 
cruisers. But before going into action, I 
would proclaim to all the soldiers and people, 
that he or they who should be able to take a 
foreign ship, the entire ship and cargo should 
be given them for encouragement ; and this 
being made known, ^every one would be more 
eager than the other^in pressing forward to 
the capture ; and what stay, 1 ask, would 

* It will be found that this was acted upon at Canton 
in May, 1841. 

G 3 


these rascally foreigners have to cling to any- 
longer? Would not their hearts, on the 
contrary, die within them for fear ? 

*' Whether or not my simple view of mat- 
ters may be correct, may I beg your gracious 
majesty to send down orders to the commis- 
sioner and viceroy and fooyuen of Kwang- 
tung, that as opportunity offers the experi- 
ment may be made ? Only let a plan be laid 
for a general massacre^ and these said fo- 
reigners cannot but fear and tremble, and 
come to implore us. 

" Whether my stupid, foolish notions may 
be put in force or not, I humbly pray that 
my august sovereign will bestow on this 
paper a single holy glance. A most respect- 
ful memorial." 

That the emperor did bestow " a glance 
of approval" on it, is certain by his own 
words and decree to the board of war*; on 
receiving which they forwarded it to Lin 
and his colleagues to act on. Thus did the 
emperor not only declare war against Eng- 
land, but against the whole civilized world. 

* Lin having been deprived of the imperial seals, 
had no longer a right to correspond direct with the 


If massacres, murders, and piracies were 
not carried on in the wholesale way the 
memorialist recommended, it was not from 
the forbearance of the government, but owing 
to a want of courage and of means to act, in 
the local authorities. 

Lin and his coadjutors were now busy 
building gunboats of superior construction, 
and size, for the purpose of putting down 
smu<T2rlinq: in the river : much tea and other 
exports having been secretly conveyed to 
Macao through some of the hundred chan- 
nels which intersect the land in every direc- 
tion. Small schooners were also built, to be 
added to the imperial navy. 

March the 21st, Lin was busy drilling 
3,000 troops, a third portion of which was to 
consist of double-sworded men. These twin 
swords, when in the scabbard, appear as one 
thick clumsy weapon, about two feet in length ; 
the guard for the hand continuing straight, 
rather beyond the " fort " of the sword 
turns towards the point, forming a hook about 
two inches long. When in use, the thumb 
of each hand is passed under this hook, on 
which the sword hangs, until a twist of the 
wrist brings the gripe within the grasp of 


the swordsman. Clashing and beating them 
together and cutting the air in every direc- 
tion, accompanying the action with abuse, 
noisy shouts and hideous grimaces, these 
dread heroes advance, increasing their gesti- 
cuhitions and distortions of visage as they 
approach the enemy, when they expect the 
foe to become alarmed and fly before them. 
Lin had great faith in the power of these men. 

On the 25th, Captain Lord John Church- 
ill, in her majesty's ship Druid, arrived 
from New South Wales, and took the com- 
mand of the men-of-war in the river, as 
senior naval officer. The Chinese autho- 
rities were again becoming troublesome : the 
natives were forbidden to serve the foreigners 
as chair-bearers, and the women were prohi- 
bited from attending as nurses in their 

These chairs, being a little broader and 
more comfortable than the English sedan, 
are carried between two long elastic shafts, 
so formed that the ends nearly meet. The 
bearers bending down their bodies, place 
their necks between them, allowing the ends 
to rest on their shoulders, grasping them in 
front with their hands, and having the arms 


doubled close up to their body; then erect- 
ing themselves, the weight of the individual 
slightly bends the shafts. The step of the 
bearers is quick and short, giving a slight 
but easy motion to the chair, which, if belong- 
ing to a mandarin, is always painted green; 
but it is only the highest rank who can apply 
them to general use ; for we find, in Ellis, 
when the imperial commissioners met the 
embassy, they were in chairs. But " Kwang's 
rank did not authorize him to proceed thus 
any further;" while Loo, the other commis- 
sioner, continued in the same conveyance*. 

The month of April passed over without 
anything of peculiar interest occurring. Lin, 
however, continued busily drilling his new 
raised levies. 

Some difficulties and delays arose on the 
subject of securing American merchant-ves- 
sels, in consequence of which their consignees 
at Canton addressed a petition to Governor 
Lin, praying that their ships might be 
allowed to discharge and take in their 
export cargoes without delay, intelligence 
having been received from England and 

* The high officers have frequently as many as eight 
bearers, who are then differently placed. 


America, that a blockade of the port of 
Canton by the ships of the former nation 
would be declared at about the beginning of 

On the 26th, an answer was returned, 
granting the prayer of their petition, but 
sharply reproving them for their folly in 
giving credence to such idle reports, as that 
the English would dare to blockade any of 
the ports belonging to the celestial empire, 
"a thing not to be thought of." 

Lin, on the 1 6th of May, had a grand 
review of his new navy, which he appeared 
to be fully persuaded would sweep the Eng- 
lish from the seas. It consisted of the 
Cambridge, tolerably well armed with car- 
riage guns ; two schooners about twenty-five 
tons each, painted an imperial yellow and 
decorated with dragons; a small boat pro- 
pelled with paddle-wheels, and numerous 
war junks: all which ultimately fell into our 
possession at the capture of Canton. 

An edict was issued by Lin, dated the 
21st, requiring all ships arriving at Whampoa 
to give a bond that they had no British- 
owned goods on board; and that, on quit- 
ting, they would not anchor near any Eng- 


lish vessels, but sail direct for their own 

On the 22nd, an attack was made by 
several piratical junks on an English vessel, 
the Hellas, Jauncey, when near the Brothers, 
Islands to the northward of Namo. After 
a very sharp encounter, she succeeded in 
beating them off; but in this gallant aflPair 
Mr. Jauncey and twenty-five of his crew 
were wounded. 

June the 3rd, a gloom was cast over the 
whole British community by the death of the 
Right Honourable Lord H. J. S. Churchill, 
captain of her majesty's ship Druid. His 
lordship's death was attributed by the 
Chinese, to the vengeance of offended heaven 
for his daring to enter the waters of the 
" middle kingdom" with hostile intentions. 
They were ever ready to assign the death of 
our high officers to the wrath or judgment 
of their deities. The death of the gallant 
and much-to-be-lamented Sir Frederick 
Maitland, naval commander-in-chief, which 
occurred at Bombay, was by them attributed 
to the same cause ; as was also that of the 
intelligent and amiable Captain Lord Napier, 
the first British superintendent, which took 


place at Macao, on the llth of October, 
1834, after a sojourn of only three months 
in China ; the whole of which had been to 
him a series of laborious excitement and 
fatigue, caused by the ill usage he received 
from the Canton local authorities, and when 
a severe chastisement of them by us might 
have prevented that which is now taking 
place. On the 5th, the remains of Lord 
John were interred in the British burial- 
ground at Macao, all the foreign residents 
attending to pay the last honours due to this 
worthy nobleman. 

On the llth, the Chinese made another 
attempt, on a much larger scale than their 
previous ones, to burn the fleet at Cap-sing- 
moon ; but the boats of the men-of-war 
quickly hooking on to these formidable look- 
ing fire-ships, towed them ashore on the 
Brothers, where they remained, furnishing 
fire-wood for the shipping. These rafts were 
ten in number, composed of two or three 
junks securely fastened together with chains, 
and charged with small quantities of powder ; 
they were brought down under sail, and 
ignited when near the ships. 

After this, the Canton authorities, in 


anticipation of an attack from our expected 
force, moored the Cambridge just above the 
first bar, where they had also collected a 
number of junks, laden with stone, to be 
sunk in the passage when required. 

I have thus brought my introduction to a 
close ; for the length of which I owe my 
readers many apologies. But without these 
circumstantial details, I could not have put 
them in possession of many important facts 
and consequences, which are based on, or 
have arisen out of the opium question. 

Every candid mind that will carefully 
weigh the preceding statements, must surely 
be convinced that the present warfare on the 
coast of China has not arisen from any deter- 
mination of ours to force the opium trade on 
that country, but from the bad faith of the 
"celestial*' government and the open viola- 
tion of explicit treaties. 

Whether the surrender of the property of 
British subjects, by Captain Elliot, was, under 
any circumstances, either wise or unavoida- 
able, is not for me to determine. Yet the 


reader must be convinced that after the sur- 
render of the opium, and Captain Elliot had 
offered to assist the local government in sup- 
pressing that trade, the Chinese authorities 
were not justified in attempting to prevent 
our general traffic in teas, silks, &c. 

It must also be observed, that the demand 
made for the person of a British subject, 
after the private affray at Hong Kong, could 
not under any circumstances be complied 
with ; nor was the refusal on the part of 
CaptainElliot any infringement on the terms 
entered into upon the surrender of the 

However, before I quit this subject, I must 
once more beg my readers not to allow their 
feelings to be carried away by any highly 
wrought descriptions of the miserable state 
of the opium smoker, which may be brought 
forward in other works, without, at the same 
time, remembering that any sensual indul- 
gence may, by the power of language, be 
made to appear equally injurious. 

May not the bloated, nervous, debilitated 
drunkard, with an insatiate thirst craving for 
more, utterly incapable of reason for the 
major part of his life, liable to commit almost 


any crime, while under the influence of his 
potation, be fairly placed in opposition to 
the emaciated opium-smoker, whose imbe- 
cility lasts but for a short time, during which 
he is harmless and inert ? 

Can it then be said that the dealer in 
opium, or the grower of the poppy, panders 
more to the depravity or vices of mankind, 
than the brewer or distiller, — the farmer, or 
the horticulturist. 

Coercive measures will never stop the evil 
in China, for an evil I acknowledge it to 
be; it must be a well-matured, moral con- 
viction which can alone effect that object; 
and that such conviction will ultimately take 
place we cannot doubt. May we not hope, 
too, that the present war may prove a means 
of introducing Christianity into China, — a 
portion of the globe inhabited by one-third 
of the family of mankind, who are at pre- 
sent buried in utter heathen darkness. 




Orders to proceed to China — Arrival of Blonde and 
Pylades — Krewmen dislike going — Island of Mauri- 
tius — Placed in Quarantine — Seychell Islands — Coco 
de mer — Penang — Straits of Malacca — Water-Spout 
< — ^Malays — Upas Tree — Malacca — Straits of Sinca- 
pore — Sail from Sincapore — Make the Ladrones — 
Chow-Chow water — Anchor at Macao — Men of War 
in River — Arrival of Expedition — Blockade declared 
— Scale of Rewards — Arrival of Cape Squadron — 
Method of claiming Rewards — Sailj for Chusan — 
Ock-sue Islands, — Formosa, — Black Island — Buffalo's 
Nose — Fishing Boats. — Want of Interpreter — 
Pirates' escape — Boats sail — Chusan Harbour — 
Compradore seized — Blonde at Amoy — Ningpo undei- 
Blockade — Elephant's Trunk — Process of making- 
Salt — Difference of Rank. 

To Britain's queen the nations turn their eyes ; 

On her resolves the western world relies. — Addison. 

Ho, for China! was the cheering sound 
heard on board the Cape squadron, on the 


morning in April, 1840, wiien we received the 
news that our worthy admiral fthe Hon. G. 
Elliot, C.B.) was appointed commander-in- 
chief on the India station, and would con- 
sequently take command of the expedition 
fitting at Calcutta, which was destined to act 
against the Chinese; and happy fellows were 
they whose ships were selected to join that 
force, — Melville 74 flag, Modesto 18, Colum- 
bine 16. New life was instilled into all our 
operations; and the ships were rapidly refit- 
ted, while the naval yard and arsenal re- 
sounded with preparations. Much praise 
is due to Mr. Deas Thompson, naval store- 
keeper, for his indefatigable exertions, though 
considerable delay took place in consequence 
of the reduced state of the Simon's Bay 

The Melville's lower deck guns were got 
on boards and officers were dispatched to 
Cape Town to raise seamen, her complement 
being increased to her proper rate. On the 
arrival of the Blonde and Pylades from Eng- 
land, the latter, after watering, was imme- 
diately dispatched to Sincapore to announce 


to the force there assembling, that the admiral 
would follow in a few days. 

Many speculations were now made on our 
future operations, and it was not a little 
amusing to trace the tempers of the various 
individuals in their observations. Here 
might be seen the covetous, calculating that 
the Chinese would cut up well in the shape 
of prize-money, — and who likes prize-money 
better than Jack? There the ambitious might 
be heard, enumerating the honours and pro- 
fessional steps he would get; while the young 
and ardent were revelling in the anticipated 
fight. What to them was a greater ideal 
pleasure than the whistle of a shot in anger? 
Like knights of old they were ready to break 
a lance, each for his lady love. " Fokies*," 
take care of your tails, for many have been 
promised to the fair damsels of the Cape. 

The admiral thinking it advisable to take 
a number of krewmenj" in each ship, that 
during the hot season the watering and 

* Anglice, "friend," and a familiar way of speaking 
of the Chinese. 

t Natives from the western coast of Africa. 


boats' duty might be performed by thera, 
directed a certain number to be kept in each 
vessel ; but they did not like the proposition, 
and, with one or two exceptions, refused to 
go. In fact, though remarkably fine-looking 
men, they are not generally very fond of 

Jack Blond assumed the part of spokes- 
man for his countrymen serving in the Mo- 
deste ; and desirable as it would have been to 
have retained them, his blunt oratory proved 
the hardship of the case too effectually to be 
disregarded. "^Massa,me no like go China, he 
very far country — me four years leave krevv- 
man land, me want to go see my father — me 
like ship, me like officer, all very good, but 
me want to go coast." What could be said ? 
they had only entered for coast service. I 
referred their case to the captain ; and it was 
finally arranged that our krevvmen should 
accompany us as far as the Mauritius, and 
be left there for the Acorn then cruising in 
the Mozambique. 

The morning of the 27th saw us ready; 
all sail was made and everything prepared 


for a start; but no, old ^olus was sulky, and. 
not a breath of his ruffled the waters for 
three successive days. This delay, however, 
afforded us the pleasure of a visit from the 
ladies of the admiral's family, and many of 
our Cape friends, whom we should otherwise 
have missed. 

The 30th was ushered in with a lio;ht 
north-west breeze. "Signal to weigh, sirl" 
''Hands up anchor!" "Heave round!" — 
and quickly were we running out of False 
Bay, in company with the Melville and 
Blonde. The Columbine, having to refit 
after her cruise on the west coast, was to 
remain some days longer in Simon's Bay. 

It had been decided that theModeste should 
make the passage to China by way of Mau- 
ritius, there to raise men and take on board 
as great a quantity of provisions as could be 
carried; thus partly relieving the Cape 
storehouses. Keeping company until the 
1st, our captain received his final orders, 
and we then left our consorts to go in chase 
of a vessel in order to put despatches on 
board her. This duty having been per- 



formed, a course was shaped for our desti- 
nation. Much has been said by others of 
the horror of Bank L'Agullas, and too many 
unpleasant recollections of its heaving waters 
are recalled for me willingly to dwell on tlie 

Fine breezes with delightful weather took 
us to that most beautiful of all islands, the 
Mauritius, in seventeen days. He who does 
not admire its magnificent scenery must have 
little taste for the picturesque. But alas! we 
were merely allowed to see it ; for no sooner 
had we anchored at the Bell Buoy, than the 
health-boat visited us, and, much to the annoy- 
ance of all hands, ordered the yellow flag to be 
hoisted, as the small -pox was prevalent at the 
Cape, and our passage had been so extraor- 
dinarily short. This might be a very neces- 
sary precaution in some cases, but as there 
was not a finger-ache amongst the crew, I 
think it was by no means requisite to con- 
tinue the quarantine, which in our case 
was doubly vexing, in consequence of the 
unnecessary correspondence regarding our 
supplies, though it is but due to the 


Governor, Colonel Power, to state that 
he evinced every wish to facilitate our move- 

It appears almost impossible to conceive 
that a colony, which has been for years in our 
possession, had not so much as a 32-pound shot 
to boast of, and could furnish us with neither 
powder, nor rockets, nor blue lights : but such 
was the actual case. May I not, therefore, ask 
why matters have been allowed to remain in 
this state, or from whence can it be supposed 
the omission arises? These supplies might, it 
is true, have all been obtained at the Cape, 
but as ships were expected from England en 
route to China, which would require com- 
pleting, it was thought unadvisable, in our 
case, to consume any stores which could, by 
possibility, be done without. 

While thinking of public duties, we did 
not forget our private comforts in the shape 
of sundry cases of Lafitte, &c., and as we 
could not buy without samples, a goodly 
show of bottles was made on our gallant cap- 
tain's table ; a board quickly assembled, and 
the commissioners did ample justice to their 

H 2 


office. Nor was it a bad amusement to 
crack midshipman's nuts, and hold learned 
disquisitions on the various vintages, on 
which we had to pronounce ; not forgetting to 
give the medical board an occasional growl for 
depriving us, through their sanatory scruples 
of all the anticipated pleasures we had pro- 
posed to ourselves as we neared Port St. 
Louis. For all our imaginations had been 
excited by numerous accounts of the fair resi- 
dents, — beauties which we were doomed not to 
see, for we sailed on the 22nd of May, with 
the yellow flag still at the mast-head. 

A pleasant run of six days brought us to 
Mahe, one of the Seychelles. The town of 
the same name is situated on its eastern side, 
but so completely under the high land, that 
we could with difficulty make out the houses, 
and some few small vessels close in shore, 
among which was one of our captures made 
some months back in the Mozambique. 

This vessel belonged to the Isle of France, 
but the master of her having purchased a little 
boy at Nos Beh, afterwards christened^ Tom 
Modeste, she was detained for a breach of the 


slave laws. Her unfortunate master died a few 
days after the capture, and as we had many 
prize-crews away, she was sent, in charge of 
the mate, to the Mauritius. Heavy weather 
and a long passage forced her into port at 
Mahe, where we were just in time to assist 
at her condemnation as unseaworthy. 

The anchorage formed by St. Anne's and 
other small islands is tolerably sheltered, but 
the bottom, consisting of coral and rock, 
makes chain cables desirable. 

The purchase of a few bullocks and turtles 
made a pleasing addition to the larder. 
An alderman might have relished the soup 
produced by our chef de cuisine. The bul- 
locks, though small, proved good; the price 
moderate, — ten dollars; turtle of 300 pounds, 
sixteen shillings, and poultry in the same 
proportion. Previous to the Slave Emanci- 
pation Act, the prices were much more mo- 

Nature has been so bountiful to these 
charming islands, placed as they are in 
about 5° of south latitude, and 55° of east 
longitude, that all vegetable productions 

150 coco DE MER. 

flourish with the slightest labour. The sea 
abounds with the finest fish, and Blackee 
finds it much more comfortable to indulge 
his indolent nature and vegetate, than to 
work and grow rich. From the peculiar 
formation and mountainous nature of this 
group of islands, there are no roads for 
carriages or other means of conveyance ; the 
sea is the highway which requires no 

M'Adam. Should Madame M wish to 

visit Madame L , she orders her boat ; — 

and very fine boats they are, many of which 
we saw cruising along the shores. 

Among the produce of these islands, the 
coco de mer (diacia moradelpkia*) is worthy 
of especial remark. This beautiful palm is 
peculiarly the tree of the Isles of Praslin, 
Curieuse, and Round, and attains the height 
of 50, 60, or even 100 feet; is straight, 
and apparently without bark; one foot in 
diameter to its head, where it is crowned 
with from twelve to twenty leaves. These 
leaves are very large, and are used in con- 

* First volume of the new scries of Curtis's Botanical 
Magazine, edited by Sir William Hooker, to which 
valuable work I am much indebted for mv information. 


structing houses and sheds, one hundred 
leaves furnishing materials for a very com- 
modious dwelling. A new leaf is annually 
formed, which falls away at the year's end, 
leaving a scar. Hence it may be estimated 
that in a hundred and thirty years the tree 
arrives at maturity ; for few, if any, trees are 
found to have more than that number of 

All parts of this tree are useful; the trunk 
splits into water-troughs, palisades, Sec. ; the 
down on the young leaves is used for stuffing 
mattresses and pillows, while the ribs of the 
leaves are converted into baskets and brooms; 
the inhabitants dry the young foliage, and 
plait it into hats. 

The nut is applied to various purposes. 
Under certain preparations it was, and is, 
still considered by the Chinese, as an anti- 
dote to all poisons. Their doctors take the 
meat or albumen which lines the nut, and rub 
it down with water in a vessel of porphyry, 
mingling with it black, white, or red coral, 
as well as ebony and stags' horns, which are 
all pounded together : when the potion thus 


prepared has been drunk, the charm is con- 
sidered perfect. 

Of the shell, which is supposed to possess 
fewer medicinal properties, the great men 
form precious vessels to contain their to- 
bacco, betel, lime, or whatever else they 
masticate ; thus fancying they cannot be 
contaminated by anything noxious. Water 
kept in these shells is supposed to have 
the virtue of preserving its drinkers from all 

The nuts, previous to 1743, were so highly 
prized in the Maldive Islands, that a subject 
was liable to suffer death if he were found to 
possess one, they being the peculiar property 
of the king, who sold them at an enormous 
price, viz., from 60 to 120 crowns each, those 
which measured the same in breadth as in 
length being the most prized ; and such as 
were a foot in diameter being valued at 150 

Until the discovery of the tree itself in 
1743, the nut alone was known, as occasion- 
ally found, either floating on the surface of the 
water, or thrown up on the shores of India, 


and numerous fables were consequently 
related about it. 

By Garcia ab Orta it was stated to be a 
terrestrial production, which might have 
fallen by accident into the sea^ and there 
petrified. " The Malay and Chinese sailors,^' 
observes Sir W. Hooker, quoting the words 
of another old author, "used to affirm that it 
was borne upon a tree deep under water, 
which was similar to a cocoa-nut tree, and 
was visible in placid bays, &c.; but that if 
they sought to dive after the tree, it instantly 
disappeared. The negro priests declared it 
to grow near the Island of Java, with its leaves 
and branches rising above the waters, in which 
a monstrous bird, or griffin, had its habita- 
tion, whence it used to sally forth nightly, 
and tear to pieces with its beak elephants, 
tigers, and rhinoceroses, whose flesh it car- 
ried to its nest. Furthermore, they avouched 
that ships were attracted by the waves that 
surrounded this tree, and there retained, the 
mariners falling a prey to the savage bird; so 
that the inhabitants of the Eastern Archi- 
pelago always carefully avoid that spot." 

li 3 


Under the good management of Mr. 
Mylius, the present governor, these islands 
promise to be very productive, and already 
export coffee, bullocks, and many other ar- 
ticles, to the Isle of France, of which they 
should be made quite independent. 

But I must not dwell longer on this subject, 
or I fear the reader will get as impatient as 
the admiral would probably have been, had we 
delayed joining him. So, once more under 
weigh, with a continuation of pleasant wea- 
ther, steering nearly parallel with the equator, 
we passed to the southward of Adoumatis 
Atoll, through the one-and-a-half degree 
channel, and made Acheen Head on the 
morning of the 14th of June. The pre- 
vious day we boarded the Endora from Syd- 
ney to Calcutta, and a lucky boarding it 
was ; for her master kindly furnished us with 
two sacks of potatoes, — and such potatoes as 
we had not tasted since we sailed from the 
shores of dear old England. By her we were 
happy to have the opportunity of sending 
letters to be forwarded by the overland mail. 

Our passage through the Straits of Ma- 


lacca promised to be long, as at 6 a. m. Pulo 
Rondo was E. S. E. five leagues, with little 
or no wind. Pulo Rondo, as its name be- 
speaks, is a round island covered with jungle. 

This afternoon, we set skysails and royal 
studsails, when, in company with the captain, 
I pulled round the ship. She was looking 
remarkably well ; and not a little proud did 
I feel in my own heart while admiring the 
beautiful proportions of my wooden wife. 
An old first lieutenant alone will be able to 
enter into my feelings at such u moment. 

On the 1 5th we tacked for the first time 
since quitting Simon's Bay, up to that date 
so favourable had been the winds for all our 
movements ; but now we began to expe- 
rience the true straits' weather, flying along 
at one time nine or ten knots with a Suma- 
tra, and the next hour lying a perfect log 
upon the water, without a breath of wind to 
fill our sails ; the heavy rains that attended 
these squalls leaving every part of the ship 
wet and uncomfortable. Frequently we saw 
the water- spout in all its awful magnificence. 
I cannot perhaps do better than quote Fal- 


Conor's beautiful lines on the subject, which, 
when the reader makes due allowance for 
poetical imagination, is not overdrawn, — 

V/hile from the left approaching, we descry 

A liquid column tow'ring shoot on high ; 

Its foaming base an angry whirlwind sweeps, 

Where curling billows rouse the fearful deeps ! 

Still round and round the fluid vortex flies, 

Scatt'ring dun night and horror through the skies ! 

The swift volution and th' enormous train, 

Let sages vers'd in nature's lore explain. 

The horrid apparition still draws nigh. 

And white with foam the whirling surges fly. 

On the 19th a porpoise was harpooned 
and safely " landed " on the deck, — many of 
our previous captures of the same kind 
having escaped oflF the grains. On the 20th 
the Island of Penang was in siglit ; a spot 
that recalls to my memory many happy days; 
when, having just passed my examination for 
lieutenant, and full of hope 1 gaily wan- 
dered over its verdant hills, while day after 
day fled rapidly by amidst the joyous group of 
my first and warmest friends. Alas ! where 
are they now ? What alterations, too, have a 
few short years made in this once delightful 


After a tedious and harassing passage 
through the shoals, rocks, and islands, with 
which these straits are crowded, we arrived 
on the 24th of June off the once important 
town of Malacca, now dwindled down to 
the mere memento of what it once was ! 
More than two centuries ago it was the prin- 
cipal mart for commerce in this part of the 
world; but, since it fell under the rule of the 
Portuguese and Dutch, it has been declining; 
nor is it likely ever to recover itself under 
the British rule. For Penang, at the north- 
ern end of the straits, deprives Malacca 
of all the Indian trade which passes through 
them ; while the now flourishing settlement 
of Sincapore at the southern entrance, 
affords fine anchorage and every kind of 
refreshment for ships arriving from China, 
or any of the Australian settlements. 

But the climate of Malacca is delightful, 
though within two or three degrees of the 
equator. It is constantly blessed with land 
and sea breezes, which, blowing over this 
narrow peninsula, render it fertile in the ex- 
treme. The town, fort, and old church have a 


pleasing and picturesque appearance to East- 
ern voyagers ; while the surrounding country- 
is covered with groves of the liveliest ver- 
dure imagination can paint. Indeed, this 
is the peculiar feature of the whole coast, 
islands, and rocks bordering the Malacca 
Straits. Their flowery shrubs extending to 
the waters make one almost wish that this 
wild and beautiful jungle may never fall be- 
fore the hand of cultivation. 

Still had we some distance to "progress" 
before entering the China seas ; and our 
anxiety to proceed was not a little increased 
by having spoken a vessel, from which we 
gained information that the admiral had 
arrived at, and sailed from Sincapore, about 
a week previously. How sincerely was a 
breeze prayed for; and old ^olus had his eyes 
consigned to the other world on several occa- 
sions of a disappointing puff. Hard, indeed, 
was it to see the morning of the 20th arrive, 
and our ship not yet in Sincapore roads. 

The Straits of Sincapore, lying off the 
southern extremity of the Malay peninsula, 
arc formed by clusters of most beautiful 

MALAYS. 159 

islands, as various in shape, as they are in- 
dented with pleasant little sandy bays and 
coves, where turtle abound in the greatest 
plenty. I have frequently purchased turtle 
of three cwt. for one dollar. The Malays 
feast on their eggs, but have no taste for the 
calapash and calapee. The deep clear blue 
of the water added beauty to the scene, as 
threading our way through them we slipped 
silently along, the natives occasionally pulling 
out in their canoes, and offering fish, fruit, 
and shells for sale. 

The Malays, like the Chinese, have a re- 
markable similarity of feature; in one you 
behold the face of the whole nation. If 
excited by jealousy, or other causes, they 
are most cunning and revengeful, and 
when " running a muck," stab all whom 
they meet with their kreeses, which are 
said to be poisoned with the juice of the 
upas tree. But this I do not believe, having 
known several wounds from them, which 
have shown no very bad symptoms ; though 
I fancy there is no doubt but that the blades 
of many, after being heated red hot, are 


plunged into lime juice. The rust, which 
this produces in the grooves of the weapon, 
causes a very dangerous wound, but not so 
deadly as the gum of the celebrated or fabu- 
lous upas tree, the wonderful tale of which, 
as related by N. P. Foersch, I trust I shall 
be pardoned for introducing in this place. 

*' The Bohun upas is situated in the Island 
of Java, about twenty- seven leagues from 
Batavia. It is surrounded on all sides by a 
circle of high hills and mountains; and the 
country round it, to the distance of ten or 
twelve miles from the tree, is entirely barren. 
Not a tree, nor a shrub, nor even the least 
plant or grass, is to be seen. To this tree 
the criminals are sent for the poison, into 
which all warlike instruments are dipped. 

" The poison is a gum that issues out like 
camphor from between the bark and the tree 
itself. Malefactors, condemned to death, 
are the only persons employed to fetch this 
poison, which is the sole chance they have 
of saving their lives. They are provided 
with a silver or tortoise-shell box, and are 
properly instructed how to proceed while 


they are upon their dangerous expedition. 
They are told to go to the tree 'before 
the wind,' so that the effluvia from the tree 
may be blown from tliem, and they are told 
to use the utmost dispatch. They are then 
sent to the old priest who lives on the con- 
fines of the desert, who prepares them for 
their fate by prayers and admonitions. When 
about to depart, he gives them a long leathern 
cap, with two glasses before their eyes, which 
comes down as far as their breast, and also 
provides them with a pair of leather gloves. 
They are then conducted by the priest and 
their relations, about two miles on their 
journey. Here the priest repeats his instruc- 
tions, and tells them where they are to look 
for the tree: he shows them a hill which 
they are to ascend, and on the other side they 
will find a rivulet, which they are to follow, 
and which will conduct them directly to the 
upas tree. They now take leave of each 
other, and amidst prayers for their success 
the delinquents hasten away. 

" The old priest assured me, that during his 
residence there, of thirty years, he had dis- 


missed upwards of seven hundred criminals; 
and that scarcely two out of twenty ever re- 
turned ! All I could learn from one who 
returned was, tliat it stood on the borders of 
a rivulet; that it was of a middling size; that 
five or six young trees grew round it, but 
that no other shrub, plant, or atom of vege- 
tation, was to be seen within a circuit of 
several miles; and that numerous skeletons 
were in every direction scattered round it." 

But I had almost forgotten that all this 
time the Modeste has been stealing into the 
anchorage; the government house is in its 
proper bearing ; the anchor is down, captain 
gone on shore, and the first lieutenant very 
busy getting a hundred things done that 
were wanted. In the meantime, the tank 
comes off with water, and that useful body of 
men the marines soon pump her out. These 
vessels carry from twenty-five to thirty tons, 
which they supply at the moderate charge of 
one dollar per ton. 

Sincapore, which for its rapid growth is 
more remarkable than any other of the Bri- 
tish possessions, owes its origin to the clear 


judgment of Sir Stamford Raffles, who at 
once saw the impulse the India country trade 
would receive from a settlement in such a 
favourable position, which must become the 
highway between India, China, and the 
Eastern Archipelago. It must be confessed 
that its natural productions would give em- 
ployment to a very small number of vessels, 
but from the wise policy which made it a 
free port, it has become the modern em- 
porium of the East. 

Its population in 1819, when possession 
was first taken by the English, amounted to 
about 150 persons, — pirates and fishermen, 
whose huts were of the most wretched de- 
scription. By a census taken in 1836, we 
find the number of its inhabitants had in- 
creased to the enormous amount of 29,984, 
and which, in 1840, had again advanced to 
about 35,000 ; more than half of which 
number reside in the town of Sincapore. 
The want of females is much felt. If ladies 
v/ere more plentiful, Sefior Malthus would 
be horrified. But seriously, this scarcity of 
women is a great evil, there not being in the 


town more than 4000, which might be reme- 
died by encouraging female emigration from 

Its population is of the most mixed and 
diversified character, — Britons, Indo-Britons, 
Portuguese, Americans, Parsees, Malays, 
Chinese, Jews, Arabs, Javanese, Bujes, and 
Ballinese, Siamese, Caffres, Chuliahs, and 
Klings, Hindustanees, and a hundred others 
that I do not recollect. The variety of cos- 
tumes, to be met with in the bazaar, gives a 
lively character to this prosperous spot. 

The Chinese and Malays form by far the 
greatest portion of these; of whom the Chinese 
are the most industrious and wealthy class. 
Most of the artizans will be found amongst 
the natives of China ; while the Malays are 
fishermen, " hewers of wood, and drawers of 
water," and are ever ready to enter as sailors 
on board mercliant vessels. 

The natives of India are principally small 
shopkeepers, boatmen, and servants; and 
many a Madras Dubash may be met in the 
bazaar, where articles from all parts of the 
world are to be purchased. 


The Caffres are descendants of slaves who 
have been brought by the Arabs from the 
Abyssinian coast. But of all these the 
Chinese are the most useful ; a common 
labourer of that nation will earn from four 
to six dollars per month, while the wages to 
any of the other colonists will be about half 
the sum. 

When a country is so densly populated as 
the Chinese empire is, there must be a great 
deal of pauperism ; and though emigration 
is contrary to the ancient law of China, the 
government connives at the lower orders 
quitting the country. A poor pennyless 
Chinese agrees with a captain of a junk to 
pay eight, ten, or twelve dollars for his pas- 
sage to the Straits, for the payment of which 
the captain trusts to his honour. As soon 
as he arrives he accordingly joins some of the 
secret societies*, which are always formed 
by the Chinese, and thus his passage-money 

* These societies, though useful to the emigrant, 
require to be strictly watched by the government, the 
members of them uniting to resist the laws, and to 
protect themselves from the just punishments they 


is paid. Three months generally enables him 
to get clear of this debt, when he commences 
to make his own fortune. The greater por- 
tion of these emigrants come from the neigh- 
bourhood of Canton and Fokien. 

The Island of Sincapore contains an area 
of about 275 square miles. The Straits of 
Salat Tabrao, which in former days were 
used by vessels bound into the China seas, 
separating it from the continent of Asia, 
are now forsaken for those of Sincapore, 
which offer a more speedy and safe navigation. 

The gently undulating appearance of this 
island has a pleasing effect, the higher 
grounds seldom rising above 100 feet. Bukit 
Tima, the highest hill, does not attain an 
altitude of 200 feet. They are thickly co- 
vered with forests, many trees of which are 
well adapted for all purposes of house build- 
ing. A long and level plain on the southern 
shores affords a good site for the town, which, 
standing on a natural lagoon, named Sinca- 
pore river, with the assistance of lighters, 
offers every facility for the loading and un- 
loading of vessels while riding with the 


greatest security in the roads, free from the 
typhoons of the China seas, or the scarcely 
less furious gales of the Bay of Bengal. 

The centre of this natural harbour is occu- 
pied by a fleet of small craft, in which whole 
families reside, seldom or ever, "from the 
cradle to the grave," being on shore. From 
all accounts, their manners and customs vary 
considerably from their brother bipeds. 

A large joss-house, or Chinese temple, is in 
the course of erection, the carving and orna- 
ments of which are beautifully and elabor- 
ately executed. The warehouses and mer- 
chants' dwellings are good substantial brick 
buildings, but generally the minor ones are 
wooden erections roofed with tiles. The 
resident's house, Mr. Bonham's, is situated 
on a small bill, embosomed in trees, amongst 
which may be found that nonpareil of fruits, 
the mangusteen, and which was now (June) 
just coming into season. The flag-staff near 
the residency is constantly announcing the 
arrival of vessels, the entries of which, in 
1836, amounted to 203,574 tons. 

All the islands which are in our possession 

168 THUGS. 

in the Malacca Straits are used as penal settle- 
ments to India; and under the able and 
judicious management of the resident, the 
convicts are not allowed to feel transportation 
other than it is intended to be, — a situation 
of labour, correction, and punishment. Many 
of those cold-blooded and fanatical miscreants, 
the Thugs, are here paying the penalty of 
their horrid crimes: at one time there were 
about 1 500 at Penang alone. 

Our men found a seasonable relief in the 
supplies brought off by the bum-boats, and 
Jack might be seen revelling in all the joys 
of fresh eggs and pine apples. An Irishman 
in the crew amused all hands by a most 
original bull, — " Faith, of all the fruit at 
Sincapore, sure the eggs were the finest." 

Much excitement prevailed in con- 
sequence of the admiral, on his arrival, 
directing the detention of some Chinese 
junks, but which were released as soon as it 
was understood that they had remained under 
the guarantee of the resident. 

Having completed our .supplies, we sailed 
from Sincapore, on the afternoon of the 28th 


of June, a small schooner yacht weighing at 
the same time, with the intention of trying 
her rate of sailing ; but it was only an inten- 
tion, for we passed her almost as if she had 
been at anchor. Ere the sun was down we had 
fairly entered into the China seas, during our 
passage across which, the weather being beau- 
tifully fine, we painted the ship inside and 
out^ having first led all the ropes to spars 
lashed along the decks, so as to keep them 
clear of the bulwarks and masts. 

On the night of the 11th of Jidy, we made 
the Great Ladrones, and hove-to for daylight. 
These islands are situated on the eastern 
side of the great western channel into the 
River Tigris; are high, and may be approached 
with safety, the soundings being regular. 
At 4 A.M., bore up for Macao roads. As the 
sun rose, tinging the eastern horizon with 
red, the scene became exceedingly beautiful : 
the high, bold, though barren islands, tipped 
with his gorgeous rays, formed a fine contrast 
to the tropical scenery we had but a week or 
two since been passing through; while the 
river, covered with fishing-boats in every 

VOL. I. I 


imaginable position, added a liveliness and 
spirit to the scene. 

With light winds and an adverse tide, we 
made but little progress ; and the Chow- 
Chow water rendering the ship unmanage- 
able, we were obliged to anchor until the sea 
breeze set in. Chow-Chow water is a race 
or eddy caused by the meeting of tides, and 
without a very strong breeze, ships will not 
obey their helms. It is not confined to 
any part of the river, and cannot well be 

Macao has a pleasing appearance from the 
anchorage ; but I will defer any account of it 
until my Journal brings me to that period, 
when I became better able to form my 
opinion, which, from a long subsequent con- 
finement at the town, I had ample opportu- 
nity of doing. 

About 3 I'. M. we succeeded in getting 
into the roads, where, in three fathoms water, 
we were the same number of miles from the 
town. We found here H. M. S. Larne, 18, 
Commander Blake, and Volage, 26, acting 
Captain Warren; the Druid, 44, Captain 


Smith, being at Toong-koo, and Hyacinth, 
18, acting Commander Stewart, at the Bocca 
Tigris, enforcing the blockade. 

Previously, however, to the 12th of July, 
viz., on the 21st of June, the division of the 
fleet from India destined to act against China 
arrived. It consisted of the ships whose 
names follow : — 

Wellesley 74 Commodore, Sir J. Gordon Bremer, 
K.C.B., K.aH., Commander-in- 
Captain, Thomas Maitland. 

Conway 26 Captain, C. D. B. Bethune. 

AUigator 26 Acting Captain, A. L. Kuper. 

Cruiser 16 Commander, H. W. Giffard. 

Algerine 10 Lieutenant, T. H. Mason. 

Young Hebe 

Atalanta *) c^ ( Capt. Rogers, India Navy.. 

Queen [■ y^g^g^^^s \ '^^'' ^^'^i'^^^"' H.E.C.S. 

Madagascar) ^^^^ ^* (.Mr. Dicey, H.E.C.S. 

The ships, accompanied by twenty-one 
transports, having on board Her Majesty's 
18th, 26th, and 49th regiments, with the 
native Bengal volunteers, detachments of 
artillery, and sappers, being furnished from 
the Bengal and Madras presidencies, pro- 
ceeded, on the 22nd and 23rd, to the north- 

I 2 


ward, for the purpose of occupying the island 
of Chusan as a 'point d''appui for our future 
operations. Sir Gordon Bremer, on his 
arrival, issued a notice, that the blockade of 
the port and river of Canton would be estab- 
lished on the 28th instant. 

This, with the arrival of the force, so en- 
raged the Canton authorities, that they 
issued, on the 27th, a proclamation, with the 
following graduated scale of rewards, to be 
given for the taking or destroying English 
ships, whether men-of-war or merchant-ves- 
sels, or for the takins; or killino; British 
subjects of all degrees. The following is an 
abstract of the rewards : — 

*' For the capture of a ship of 80 guns, 
twenty thousand dollars; for smaller ones, 
a diminished reward of one hundred dollars 
for every gun under 80. 

"^ For utterly destroying the same by fire 
or otherwise, ten thousand dollars. For a mer- 
-chant-vessel, all her cargo — whether goods 
or money, excepting guns, warlike instru- 
ments, or opium — to the captors, with an 
additional ten thousand for those vessels that 


have three masts ; for those with two and a 
half mast (probably steamers), five thousand 
dollars ; and for those with two masts, three 
thousand ; for a large boat, three hundred ; 
for a small boat, one hundred ; for destroy- 
ing by fire or sinking them, one-third of the 
above sum or sums. , 

"For taking alive a barbarian officer, if chief 
commander, five thousand dollars ; five hun- 
dred to be deducted for every degree of rank 
lower. For the murder of the same, one- 
third of the before-named sum. For taking; 
alive English barbarians, or Parsees, whether 
soldiers or sailors, one hundred dollars. For 
the murder of the same, one-fifth of the afore- 
said sum. To those who seize the black-imps 
(sepoys and lascars), a proportionate reward. 

"For abandoned natives who take supplies 
to the barbarians, 100 dollars. For those 
less guilty, a proportionate reward." " Those 
less guilty,'"'' refers to the native corapradores 
and servants, who, though they quitted service 
at the time the edicts ordered them so to do, 
soon after returned to their employers ; of 
which circumstance Lin was fully aware. 

174 CAPTAIN Elliot's proclamation. 

This table of rewards has to the stranger 
a very alarming appearance; but it was well 
known to the residents, that few of the 
natives would attempt to avail themselves of 
the offered bounties, as they well knew they 
would never see the reward, even in case of 
a successful capture, as the high officers 
would always invent some false charge of 
informality to warrant them in withholding 
it. This paper is curious as being the first 
of the kind ever known to ha,ve emanated 
from this very singular government. 

Captain Elliot assured the Chinese, by 
proclamations in their language, which were 
widely circulated, that no harm was intended 
to the peaceable inhabitants by the present 
expedition J that it was caused by Lin's bad 
treatment of the English ; and that the force 
would only act against the mandarins, offi- 
cers, and soldiers of the government. He 
ended by inviting them to continue their 
traffic as before with the British shipping. 

The day previous to the blockade com- 
mencing, the American ships Panama and 
Kosciusko entered the Bocca Tigris. 


On the 28th June, the following named 
ships arrived from the Cape and England : — • 

Melville 74 Rear-admiral the Hon. G. Elliot, C.B., 
Commander-in-Chief and Plenipo- 
Captain, the Hon. R. S. Dundas. 
Blonde 42 Captain, Thomas Bonrchier. 

Pylades 16 Commander, T. V. Anson. 

Enterprise 18 S. V. (from Bengal.) 

Captain Elliot, now becoming joint pleni- 
potentiary with the admiral, embarked from 
Macao on board the Melville; and that ship, 
accompanied by her partners, with the addi- 
tion of the Madagascar and four transports, 
on the 80th proceeded to the northward. 

July 11th, the Hong, Salt, and Chinchew 
merchants were ordered to raise and equip, 
at their own expense, 5,000 troops for the 
defence of the province; all intercourse with 
the English was again prohibited, and no 
Chinese vessels were to be allowed to leave 
any of the ports, except for the purpose of 
destroying the English barbarians ; the des- 
tructions and murders of any of whom were 
represented as deserving the highest honours 
and rewards ; but they w-ere cautioned not 


to mistake other foreigners for English 

To be entitled to the rewards offered, they 
were to produce the board with the vessel's 
name on it, which is usually attached to the 
stern of merchant-vessels, or the head of the 
individual killed. 

These proclamations produced the worst 
feelings amongst the lower orders at Canton; 
and Hong coolies were obliged to be placed 
in the streets to guard the lives of the Ame- 
ricans and other foreisjners remainino; there. 

On the 13th of July, the day after the 
Modeste anchored at Macao, Commander G. 
Elliot, in the Columbine, arrived from the 
Cape ; when he found that, in consequence of 
the death of Lord J. Churchill, on the 4th 
ultimo, he had been promoted to the rank of 
captain, and appointed to the Volage, Cap- 
tain Warren returning to his proper ship, the 
Hyacinth ; while Clarke, the late flag-lieut- 
enant, took command of the Columbine, and 
being attached to Captain Smith's squadron, 
enabled the Volage to proceed to the north- 


Captain Smith having it in contemphition 
to make a display at the Bocca-Tigris of the 
force in the river, we were not allowed to 
proceed to Chusan until the 14th, on the 
morning of which day we worked out of the 
river, and continued beating to windward for 
some days, the winds perversely continuing 
in the north-east and eastern quarters. 
The weather had a suspicious appearance, 
and all hands being young in the China 
seas we daily expected a typhoon ; for the 
symptoms of these gales are so variously 
described in Horsburgh's Directory, that it 
required no stretch of imagination to fancy 
one brewing up from the appearances we 
observed. During great part of the passage 
we were in sight of land, but at too great a 
distance for me to attempt any distinct 
description of its outline. 

On the 21st of July, I find in my journal 
Ock-sue Island, bearing N.B.W.^W., live 
or six miles, described as moderately high, 
w^ith a long low rugged island near it, on 
which appeared a singular square-looking 
hummock, which I suppose to be the Ragged 

I 3 


Island, as named on Wyld's map of the war 
in China. At daylight, on the 22nd, we had 
a very distant but distinct view of the north 
end of Formosa, of which the mountain tops 
were enveloped in the clouds. 

Taywan, or Formosa, is a large and fer- 
tile island, situated off the south-east coast of 
China, separating the Chinese from the Blue 
Sea. The Dutch, between two and three cen- 
turies agOj had a factory and fort, named New- 
Zealand, on this island, in which they were 
introducing the arts of civilization. But their 
progress was stopped, and they were driven 
out of it in the year 1662, by Kuo-shing, or 
Koshinga, the son of a rich Chinese mer- 
chant, who fitted out a fleet to oppose those 
who are now the rulers, but were then the 
invaders of his country, — the Mantchow 
Tartars; but being defeated by them, he turned 
his arms against the Dutch, and took pos- 
session of Formosa. This island has a 
flourishing trade with Amoy, to which it ex- 
ports large quantities of grain. Its eastern 
side is still inhabited by the aborigines, of 
whom little or nothing is at present known. 

buffalo's nose. 179 

Early on the 23rd, we made the Black 
Islands, — anything bnt black when we first 
saw them, for a brilliant sun was shining on, 
and giving them the appearance of our own 
dear chalky cliffs. But this delusion was 
dispelled as the glare subsided, when they 
resumed their own sombre hue. The land 
in shore, and extending to the northward 
of these islands, is diversified with a num- 
ber of remarkable peaks. Owing to light 
winds, it was eight o'clock, p.m. of the 24th, 
before vve brought up, about six miles outside 
of Mouse Island, or Shoo-shan ; a small spot, 
as its name implies, situated mid- way between 
the Kwesan group and Front Island. 

At six o'clock the next morning, we 
weighed, and stood in for Buffalo's Nose, or 
Newpe-shan, — a remarkable island^ not un- 
like the proboscis of the animal after which 
it is named. A union jack was flying on 
a staff erected on the highest part of this 
island ; and as we neared it, the master of a 
transport, stationed at the anchorage for the 
purpose, boarded us, and gave us the first 
intelligence of the capture, on the 5tli 

180 cough's channel. 

instant, of Ting-hai, — the capital and sea- 
port of Chusan. He was also the bearer of 
orders prohibiting ships from entering the 
harbour of Chusan without a pilots in con- 
sequence of her majesty's ship Melville, 
while in tow of the Atalanta steamer, having 
been swept by the tide upon a sunken rock 
in the southern passage, where she received 
such damage, as would require her being 
hove down. 

From Buffalo's Nose to Gough's Channel 
the main land bends into a very deep and 
extensive bay, into which an estuary or lock 
opens, affording a free egress by water to the 
small town of Hose-sa-kan. The bay is 
studded with numerous islands in the best 
state of terrace-cultivation from the very 
water's edge to the highest pinnacle. A cir- 
cular one reminded me much of the famed 
hanging gardens of Bagdad. Most part of 
this bay was staked for fishing; and it required 
a good look out, not to injure the poor fel- 
lows' means of livingf. 

On arriving at Tree-a-Top Island, or Wan- 
chow-yu, the passage leads through a short 

A CHOP. 181 

Strait, commonly called Gough's Channel, 
when it spreads out into an apparently mag- 
nificent river ; the islands being so closely 
situated one to the other, that while sailing 
between them and the main land, it is hard 
to divest oneself of that idea. 

We were surrounded by a whole fleet of 
lishing-boats, and the wind being very light 
wdth a smooth sea, these merry good-tempered 
fellows kept way with us easily; occasionally 
shearing alongside and passing in handfulls 
of the arbutus fruit; which compliment was 
returned by an equal quantity of biscuit. 
Three much larger boats were in shore, but 
did not excite our suspicions. From one of 
the islands a boat was sculled off with a 
Chinaman standing up in the bows, ko-tooing 
and chin-chining as if his head would come 
off. When he got alongside he handed up a 
small paper, on which a number of Chinese 
characters were drawn, but having no one on 
board acquainted with the language, it could 
not be deciphered. From his gestures we 
supposed him to be offering his services as a 
pilot to Chusan, which were declined. 


Some days afterwards, on the paper being 
placed before one of the interpreters, it 
proved to be a chop, informing us that the 
three boats before spoken of were plundering 
the inhabitants. Thus had these three pira- 
tical vessels been under our guns without 
any suspicion ; and who would have enter- 
tained any, with the merry faces that were 
around us, indicating no symptom of fear? 
Yet, as it subsequently proved, they had come 
for the protection which our appearance 
afforded them. 

About seven o'clock, the ship got up to 
Keeto Point, a high rocky bluff which juts 
into this cluster of islands, and forms the 
eastern promontory of the Chinese continent. 
Between this and Round Island we were 
swept with the ^^ speed of flames." The great 
depth of water in the numerous passages 
formed by the islands renders it impossible 
to anchor while the boiling eddying current, 
in its impetuous course, resembles more the 
swoln torrents of an overcharged river than 
the peaceful streams of the mighty ocean. 

It was with any thing but pleasurable feel- 


ings we saw ourselves, in a light breeze with 
a powerless helm, swept at the mercy of this 
race towards this perpendicular precipice, 
above a hundred feet in height, against 
which our bowsprit must have snapped like 
a reed, had not the eccentric current swept 
us by. Ships need not fear danger at this 
spot, as we afterwards found the current sets 
clear of the shore ; but the eddying race will 
frequently turn a ship round and round. 

Notwithstanding the great depth, the 
yellow mud boils and bubbles up from the 
bottom, nor is the water more highly co- 
loured, or more loaded with it at the Yel- 
low River than it is at this spot. 

Having passed this, a vessel was indis- 
tinctly seen under the high land of Deer 
Island (Seaoukeu Shan). It was now grow- 
ing rapidly dark, and as we had to cross 
a strong tide, it became to strangers suffi- 
ciently puzzling to get to our anchorage; 
but a blue light soon produced an answer 
from the vessel under the land, whose crew 
hoisting a light, we were enabled to steer for 
the Elephant's Trunk. 


The tide setting us rapidly round its high 
bluff point, so close did we pass it, that we 
distinctly heard the conversation of the people 
on shore. Having anchored in twenty-three 
fathoms. Captain Eyres proceeded with the 
despatches to the commander-in-chief, lying 
in Chusan harbour, and returned the next 
morning, accompanied by Mr. Sprent, mas- 
ter of the Wellesley, who was to pilot us 
in; but the wind failing, the Madagascar 
steamer came out and took us in tov/. When 
W'C were in the centre of the passage, and 
close to the spot where the Melville had 
taken the ground, a heavy squall burst upon 
tl'.e ship, which, with a lee tide, was driving 
us, steamer and all, fast back again ; however, 
by letting go an anchor, we were brought up. 

A whole fleet of Chinese junks, availing 
themselves of the fair wind, went flying by us 
with their usual large mat-sails reduced by 
several reefs. These sails are in shape not 
unlike square-headed lugs ; are composed of 
a number of mats, sewed together, with from 
six to eight bamboo battans placed at equal 
distances, and horizontally across the sail; the 


space between each constituting a reef, which 
is always taken in on the foot^ by lowering the 
haulyai'ds and rolling-up on the battan, from 
the extreme end of each of which are lines 
so placed, as to meet at a centre to form the 
sheetj but yet each supporting its own bat- 
tan. These are the universal sails for junks 
of all sizes, only differing in materials. Chi- 
nese junks and boats invariably tack, for the 
act of wearing w^ould, from the jibbing of the 
sail, endanger their lightly-secured masts. 

The squall over, the steamer took us once 
more in tow, and we soon entered the beau- 
tiful harbour of Chusan ; the water of which 
was thickly covered by the men-of-war and 
transports, whose boats were pulling in every 
direction, employed in watering, and the 
various duties requisite in so numerous a fleet. 

The Modeste, not having the good fortune 
to be present at the capture of the city of 
Tinghai, I shall attempt no account of the 
attack, referring the reader to Lord Joce- 
lyn's very neat and concise narrative. The 
harbour has several entrances, through all of 
which the current runs with great rapidity 


and eccentricity, rendering necessary the 
greatest caution in entering it. 

The passage first adopted by our ships 
from want of local knowledge, though the 
shortest, was certainly the worst and most 
unsafe, and as we became acquainted with 
the place was seldom afterwards used; the 
western entrance, though much more cir- 
cuitous, being incomparably the best, and 
affording a very fair anchorage round the 
point on which the sappers were encamped, 
which Jack quickly christened "Spithead;" 
while another, further out, under Bell Island, 
was dubbed "St. Helens." By these names 
I shall in future designate them. 

So much of my time was occupied in 
attending to the various duties of the ship, 
as she was to form one of the squadron about 
to proceed to the northward, that I had but 
little time to make observation on the city or 
its environs; therefore I shall offer but few 
remarks on them until our return from the 
Imperial Sea, when a sojourn of some weeks 
at " Spithead'' and '' St. Helens" afforded 
ample opportunity for observation. 

BAD V/ATER. 187 

The troops and slilpping were badly off 
for fresh provisions in consequence of a 
Chinese compradore, who had accompanied 
the expedition from Canton, having been 
seized on the 17tli by the Chinese, and 
carried a prisoner to Ning-po. Repeated ex- 
ertions were made for his recovery, but all 
proved unavailing; he had, poor fellow, fan- 
cied himself safe, and refused a guard of 
soldiers, for fear of alarming the peasantry, 
v^hen foraging the country for supplies, which 
by his means, had been amply furnished pre- 
vious to his captivity. 

The only water we could get was of the 
very worst description and slightly brackish, 
which arose from the sluice of the canal 
where it was obtained being in a defective 
state, and admitting its neighbour the sea. I 
attribute all the after-sickness which pre- 
vailed on board the squadron in the Gulf of 
Petche-li, to this cause and this cause only. 
At one time, in the Modesto, out of a crew of 
130 men, half the number were on the sick- 
list, suffering from severe diarrhoea, both lieu- 
tenants and the master being in the number. 


The admiral in his progress from Macao, 
when ofF Amoy on the 2nd of July, had dis- 
patched the Blonde, Captain Bourchier, into 
that port for the purpose of delivering to the 
Chinese admiral on that station the despatch 
from Lord Palmerston to the Chinese 
ministers. About noon, the Blonde was an- 
chored off the harbour, which was found to 
be strongly fortified. In about an hour a 
boat came alongside with a red flag flying, 
bearing the following inscription, " Hea 
fang ting seun chuen,'' and having on board 
five or six Chinese followers, alias, policemen, 
who stated that they were sent by the magis- 
trates of the district to ascertain v/hat the 
ship wanted; on being informed of her 
errand they said that their admiral was at 
Chinchew. A statement w^as then read to 
them explaining the nature of a flag of truce, 
and warning them of the consequences atten- 
dant on firing on such flag. Having repeat- 
edly signified that they understood the pur- 
port of the paper, they were sent on shore to 
convey it to the authorities. They pro- 
mised to return immediately with an answer, 


and did so within an hour, accompanied by 
a man of a higher rank, who brought back 
tlie paper, representing "that the district 
magistrates had taken a copy of it for their 
superior officers, but as they did not dare to 
hold communication with outside foreio-ners, 
they begged to return the original docu- 
ment. The bearer was informed that it 
could not be received, and that he must take 
it on shore again to the magistrates^ which, 
after a little hesitation and referrino; to the 
others of the party, he consented to do. 

The second lieutenant of tlie ship, Sir 
Frederick Nicholson, accompanied by Mr, 
Thorn, the interpreter, were then sent in an 
unarmed cutter, with a flag of truce flying, 
to deliver Lord Palmerston's letter to the 
highest officer on the spot. 

As the boat approached the shore it was 
observed that a considerable body of troops 
were drawn up with the apparent intention 
of preventing a landing; and no sooner had 
the boat's bow touched the beach than they 
advanced their weapons and rudely repulsed 
them, desiring them to be off and refusing 

190 MR. THOM. 

to listen to them. Finding all attempts to 
communicate useless, Sir Frederick returned 
to the ship. Captain Bourcliier, in the mean 
time;, having observed what was going on, 
detained a junk, and sent a letter by the 
master of her to the shore, to which no 
answer was returned. 

The morning of the 3rd being calm, it 
•was found impossible to get the frigate near 
the batteries until noon ; at which time her 
anchor was let go within five hundred yards 
of them. The jolly-boat, pulled by four 
boys, was then dispatched with Mr. Thom 
to make a last attempt to persuade these 
fool-hardy men to receive Lord Palmerston's 
letter, but the troops were drawn up as they 
had been on the previous day, and a vast 
crowd of spectators assembled. 

The boat's stern being backed in, Mr. 
Thom attempted to open a communication 
with them ; not succeeding in doing so he 
displayed a chop, written in large characters, 
setting forth the peaceable intention of the 
ship, and blaming the conduct of the man- 
darins, which so enraged them that they 


dashed into the water and made an attempt 
to seize the boat; but a few strokes of the 
oars soon put her beyond their reach. Mr. 
Thorn then called to them to know if they 
would receive the letter; in reply to which 
they all roared out no, accompanied with 
much abuse. 

The boat's crew immediately gave way for 
the ship, when a match-lock and two or three 
arrows were discharged at them, and struck 
the boat ; and the whole detachment were 
about to follow it up with a volley, when at 
the instant two of the Blonde's thirty-two 
pound shot went bowling into the midst of 
these valiant fellows, and *' Sauve qui pent" 
became the cry, — the whole mass, officers, 
soldiers, and spectators flying for their lives, 
leaving five or six of their number dead upon 
the beach. 

The Blonde's guns were now turned on 
the forts and war-junks, in consequence of 
their having opened their fire upon her, 
which she quickly and effectually silenced, 
riddling the former, and sinking the latter. 
The cutters, armed, were then dispatched 


to Stick upon the walls of the fort a procla- 
mation, stating the provocation which had led 
to the firing. This object, however, was not 
effected ; for the Chinese opened a fire from 
some houses on the boats, when Captain 
Bourchier, not thinking it worth while to 
risk the lives of his men in this unimportant 
service, directed them to be recalled. They 
brought off several spears and shields left by 
their late foes. 

The proclamation was then put into a 
bottle and thrown overboard, shortly after 
which it was picked up by a fisherman ; and 
about 4 P.M. the ship was got under weigh, 
and proceeded to rejoin the admiral. 

Admiral Elliot's first act, after his arrival 
at Chusan, was to declare a close blockade of 
the river and harbour of Ning-po; which was 
rigidly maintained during his absence to the 
northward, many junks being detained 
during that time, and sent into Chusan. 

Captain Bcthune, of her majesty's ship 
Conway, opened a communication with the 
Chin-hai and Ning-po authorities, and hav- 

A SURVEY. ■ 193 

ing explained to them the purport of the 
white flag, or flag of truce, prevailed upon 
them to receive the copy of Lord Palmerston's 
despatch, which had been refused at Amoy. 
The next morning they returned it, stating, 
that they dared not forward such a chop to 
the celestial presence. However, there is 
but little doubt that the contents of it found 
its way to Pekin. 

None of that hostility evinced at Amoy 
was at any time shown at Ning-po, though 
they imprisoned all the '' English barbarians," 
or " black imps," that they could get hold of. 

It was thought by those acquainted with the 
Chinese, that much had been gained ; since 
their authorities, for the first time during our 
intercourse with China, at this period substi- 
tuted the term •' honourable nation," for the 
usual phrase " barbarians." 

Her majesty's ships the Conway and Al- 
gerine, M^ith Young Hebe and Kite, armed 
transports, were dispatched to examine and 
survey the Yan-tse-Kiang ; the Alligator, 
with steamers, being employed to enforce 
the blockade of Ning-po. 

VOL. I. K 


The Blenheim, 74, Captain Sir H. Le 
Fleming Senhouse, which arrived from Eng- 
land on the 28th of July, was to enter the 
harbour for the purpose of assisting in heav- 
ing down the Melville, because the Rattle- 
snake, to whom the purchase for effecting 
that object was to be secured, was not suffi- 
ciently spacious to allow of the requisite 
power being applied at the capstan, for heav- 
ing the keel of so large a body out of the 
water. The Volage also arrived from Macao, 
and came into harbour to complete her provi- 
sions and water. 

The squadron appointed to proceed to 
the Imperial Sea, was to consist of the Wel- 
lesley, — to which the admiral had shifted his 
flag from the Melville, while she was under 
repair, — Blonde, Volage, Modeste, Pylades, 
and Madagascar, with two transports. The 
Pylades and transports had proceeded on the 
27th to the Kwesan Islands, to await the 
admiral's arrival. 

On the 29th of July we weighed, in com- 
pany with the flag-ship, just weathering the 
flat off Junk Island. The Wellesley, being 

elephant's trunk. 195 

further to leeward, was obliged to bring up, 
while we threaded our way through the 
western channel. It was difficult enough to do 
this, the chart being imperfect, and the islands 
and passages very numerous, the breeze very 
fresh, and the tide running like a sluice. 
When off Keeto Point, it became evident that 
the Wellesley would not be able to quit the 
harbour that day. The captain intended to 
have anchored under the main land ; but when 
within half a cable's length of it, we could 
get no soundings with forty fathoms of line, 
so the helm was put up, and the yards squared 
to enable us to reach our old berth under the 
Elephant's Trunk. 

After the various duties of the day were 
over. Captain Eyres kindly oflPered me a seat 
in his boat. I proceeded with him to explore 
the Elephant's Trunk, — a long, narrow, and 
high island, full of fertile indentations, which 
have evidently been arms or bays of the sea, 
but have been rendered fit for cultivation by 
the deposit of the earthy matter previously 
held in suspension by these turbid waters. By 
the aid of man erecting embankments, these 

K 2 


original estuaries have been converted into 
flourishing rice-grounds. Through the whole 
of this group of islands the same operations 
of nature and man may be traced. 

The higher lands afforded a welcome 
supply of bringalis, vegetable marrows, and 
pumpkins, the inhabitants readily parting 
with them, and many of them at first refus- 
ing to accept payment. In this, however, 
they were not allowed to persist; and six- 
pences, with the likeness of our gracious queen 
upon them, soon found great favour in their 
sight, being often taken in preference when 
the quarter dollar was refused. Much salt 
was made by the villagers ; and, as well 
as I could understand from the want of oral 
communication, the following was their 

Over their salt pans is spread a sandy 
earth, upon which they pour in an abundance 
of water from the sea, and when it is entirely 
saturated therewith, and the water has been 
evaporated by the rays of the sun, this dried 
earth is chipped off" to about one inch in 
depth. This is then trodden into vats, built 


of clay for the purpose, about seven feet long 
and four feet broad, having a sieve-like bot- 
tom formed of canes j sea-water is then 
poured on the top, and allowed to filter 
through this earth and cane-work into a 
reservoir beneath, from which a small gutter 
formed of half a bamboo, leads it into large 
round pans. Some of this liquid I tasted, 
and found it to be a very strong brine, which 
they were boiling down at the adjoining vil- 
lage in glazed earthen pans, placed in a row, 
with fires under each pan. It reminded me 
much of the interior of a boiling-house on a 
sugar estate in the West Indies. 

After this we visited several of the small 
houses or huts ; the walls of which were 
generally composed of mud, the roof being 
of wood. They consisted of two or more 
rooms, exceedingly dirty. In truth clean- 
liness must not be looked for in this country. 
No women were to be seen, and I suspect 
they had been conveyed to the mainland. 
The men were civil, and much amused with 
the opportunity of examining our dresses. 
The curiosity of the Chinese is insatiable. 


At most of tlie houses they brought out 
two stools of different heights, and with much 
quickness of perception, soon discovered the 
difference of our rank ; making signs for the 
captain to be seated on the most elevated 
stool, while they placed the lower one for 
me on the left side of him that being 
considered by the Chinese the post of honour, 
instead of the right hand, as with us; but 
they never attempted to be seated in our 
presence, — a degree of politeness which the 
Chinese at Canton and Macao appeared to 
have quite forgotten. 



Clear the Islands — Pylades and transports join— Capture 
of Pirates — Heavy Squall — Enter Imperial Sea— • 
Gulf of Petche-li — Board Junk — Proceed to the 
Pei-Ho— Pilots useless — Capture Chinaman — Manda- 
rins spoil their Boots — Appearance of the Shore — 
Sounding River — Showie Pih, alias Captain White — 
Visit to Alcest Bay — Procure Bullocks — Good Water 
— Volage visits Mantchow Tartary — Wellesley at 
Toke — Plan for bringing Emperor to terms — Present 
to Squadron — Meeting with Keshen — Sickness disap- 
pears — Procure Millet — Arrangement for quitting 
Imperial Sea. 

With the claws of an eagle, the heart of a kite, 
Let flattery, and cunning, and falsehood unite, 
To deceive all above us, oppress all below — 
And we shall have fortvme, whoever has woe. 

Davis's Translation of the Sorrows of Han, 

[The above character, drawn by a prime minister's own hand 
may be justly applied to the] greater number of Mandarins ia 

July the 30th, the Wellesley, in tow of 
two steamers, succeeded in getting out of 
the harbour by the western channel. The 
Volage, in tow of a third steamer, trying the 
southern ; but the tide making too strong. 


she was obliged to follow in the flag-ship's 
wake ; whence, about half-past two, the sig- 
nal to weigh and follow to Buffalo's Nose was 
made, which the Blonde and Modeste quickly 
did, anchoring at nine to wait the tide. 

By four o'clock in the afternoon of the 
3 1st, the squadron was well clear of the 
islands, the Pylades and transports joining 
company at the same time. A junk was 
observed in shore, burnt to the water's edge. 
It appeared on communicating with the 
Pylades, that she had been set on fire by her 
people under the following circumstances ; 
for the account of which I am indebted to 
my old and worthy messmate, Commander 
John Hay, then first lieutenant of that ship. 

On the 29th instant, at about five p.m., 
the Pylades anchored off the Kewsan group, 
when the jolly-boat was sent to purchase some 
fish from a fishing-junk close by, the peo- 
ple of which pointed to three junks at anchor, 
between two and three miles in shore ; in- 
forming the boat's crew by signs, that they 
were armed, fired guns, and cut people's 
heads off. 


Captain Anson being informed of these 
circumstances, and having attentively exa- 
mined them with his telescope, felt convinced 
they were not war-junks, but pirates, and 
determined on sending the boats to ascer- 
tain if his opinion was right, and whether 
the fishermen's signs had been correctly 
understood. He directed the officer, if they 
were merchants' junks, not to interfere w^ith 
them, but if of any other description, to bring 
them out. 

In twenty minutes the boats were hoisted 
out, manned, armed, and proceeding on this 
duty under the command of Lieutenant 
Hay, in the ship's cutter, Lieutenant Tou- 
seau in the gig, Mr. JefFeries (mate), and 
Mr. Ford (mid.), being in the pinnace, while 
Mr. Rook (mid.) had charge of the jolly- 
boat, accompanied by Mr. Tweedale, the 
assistant-surgeon. The whole force consisted 
of six officers and forty-one seamen and 
marines. Mr. Hay, feeling that there would 
be sufficient work for all the boats, 
should resistance be offered, kept them well 
together. By the time they had nearly 



reached the suspected vessels, it was dark; 
but the junks were distinctly seen at anchor 
about three hundred yards distant, in a small 
bay close ofiP a fishing village, with a space of 
about fifty yards between each. The boats 
now lay on their oars, formed, and loaded 
their small arms, the officers and men re- 
ceiving strict injunctions not to fire or 
otherwise annoy the crews of the junks, 
unless first attacked, or in obedience to 
orders given by Lieutenant Hay to do so ; 
the nearest junk to be the first boarded, the 
pinnace and jolly-boat doing so on the star- 
board side, while the cutter and gig would 
do the same on the port side. 

The junks' decks were now seen covered 
with men; everything being ready, the word 
was given to stretch out, the boats dashing 
gallantly alongside under a heavy but ill- 
directed fire from match-locks, ginjals, and 

As the men attempted to board, they were 
knocked back into their boats with pikes 
and hooks, numerous stink-pots being thrown 
in at the same moment, the sulphurous 


vapour of which rendered some of the men 
temporally inefficient. The boats were 
therefore allowed to drop clear of the vessel, 
and some heavy and well-directed volleys 
were fired among the people on her crowded 
decks, the other junks supporting their com- 
rades with their guns and ginjals; hut it 
was of little avail against the quick firing of 
the boats' crews, and the pirates soon showed 
symptoms of having had enough. When the 
boats advanced a second time, our brave tars 
mounted the sides of the junk, her crew 
flying before them, and jumping into the sea. 
Fleming, a fine young fellow, had a 
narrow escape, a gigantic Chinaman making 
a desperate cut at him with a heavy battle- 
axe. He had just time to save himself, by 
throwing up his musket as a guard, the stock 
of which was broken by the weight of the 
blow. He instantly threw his own away, 
and catching one from a shipmate, effectually 
prevented his antagonist from repeating the 
experiment. Having carried this vessel, the 
boats proceeded with the intention of attack- 
ing the two others, but they had, on seeing 


their comrade captured, cut their cables and 
made off. Lieutenant Hay immediately 
gave chase : it was however in vain, for by 
their numerous men and oars, they soon left 
his boats far behind; returning therefore to 
his prize, he dispatched his wounded men to 
the ship. 

In this gallant affair two of the boat's crew 
were killed and five wounded, while the car- 
nage on board the junk had been tremend- 
ous. On examining her the next morning, 
many dead bodies were found still on her 
decks; and two men were discovered con- 
cealed below, besides quantities of arms, 
powder, and opium. After removing all that 
was valuable, she was set on fire ; the two 
men found on board were landed on the 
island, where they had not been very long, 
before they were brought to thePyladesbythe 
headmanofthe village, with their hands lashed 
behind them, and a chop, which, for want of 
an interpreter, was laid by for the present. 
On being handed up the side, they were put 
in irons, which appeared to give great satis- 
faction to the men in the boat which had 


brought them off. Shortly after another boat 
arrived with a present of two goats for the 
captain, accompanied by a second chop, 
"which shared the fate of the first. On their 
being afterwards translated by the interpreter 
attached to the expedition, they proved that 
Captain Anson's surmises had been per- 
fectly right in supposing the destroyed junk 
and her companions to be piratical vessels. 

In these chops the poor fishermen ex- 
pressed the most lively feelings of gratitude 
for being delivered from the vagabonds, who 
had been for some time plundering them. 
The day after the engagement the Pylades 
fell in with the two which had escaped, but 
as they stood into shoal water, they avoided 
capture. A letter of thanks was forwarded 
by the admiral to Captain Anson, the officers 
and men who had been engaged in this smart 
little affair. 

On the 1st of August we experienced one 
of the heaviest squalls we had yet met with 
on this coast; but as it brought a fair wind, 
no one was displeased. During the squall, 
the mercury in the barometer fell suddenly. 


The signal and blue lights of the squadron 
formed a brilliant contrast to the awful 
blackness of the heavens, while the roaring 
of the wind rendered the voice quite useless. 
Happily, from the precautions taken^ its 
force was expended without damage to the 
masts or yards of the ships. 

The length of our cruise being uncertain, 
the ship's companies were this day, put " six 
upon four," or two- thirds the usual allow- 
ance per man, of salt provisions and flour. 

Average thermometer . 82 

,, barometer . . 29 — 93 

On the 2nd, Srd^ and 4th, the weather 
was moderate, the transports and steamers 
had parted company, and we had entered 
into the Yellow Sea, which certainly deserves 
its name ; the water having assumed that 
colour from the quantity of yellow mud 
intermixed with it. 

On the 5th, the Volage, at seven in the 
morning, made the signal for land to the 
N.W. As the day became clear, the 
high rugged Cape of Chang-ting-tow 
became distinctly visible, forming a bold 

. DENSE roG. 207 

outline. Standing along the coast, within 
a moderate distance, and having fine clear 
weather, we were enabled to get a satis- 
factory view of land, which reminded us 
more of our own dear native scenery, than 
anything we had seen since quitting Great 
Britain; though during that time, we had, 
in the Modeste, visited the four quarters of 
the globe. On its becoming dark, we 
anchored in twelve fathoms. Shansan, or 
Great Bamboo Island, being E.^S., seven 

Thermometer . . 76 

Barometer . . 29 — 50 

On the 6th, at 4, 30 a.m., the squadron 
weighed; and in obedience to a signal, 
directing the Modeste to pass within hail 
of the admiral, we made all sail ; but sud- 
denly the whole squadron were enveloped in 
a dense fog, and the admiral's signal guns 
were heard, directing the ships to anchor ; 
in which situation we remained until two 
o'clock, when the weather clearing off, the 
vessels proceeded on their way. The Mo- 
deste passed to the southward of Black Hill 


or Hoo-ki Island ; the "Wellesley to the 
southward between it and Tung-yang or 
Quoin rock; while the Blonde passed be- 
tween the Quoin and Kew-san or Little 
Bamboo Island ; thus entering the Imperial 
Sea by three different routes. Off the north 
end of Hoo-ki are two most remarkable rocks 
resembling ships under sail ; so perfect was 
the delusion, that, notwithstanding the assist- 
ance of glasses, it was for some time difficult 
to pronounce whether they were in reality 
rocks or ships. 

The Gulf of Petche-li, or Imperial Sea, is 
about two hundred and forty miles in length, 
and one hundred and fifty in breadth, gra- 
dually narrowing towards its northern end. 
Its southern shore is bounded by the pro- 
vince of Chang-tong, its eastern by Petche-li, 
and its northern and eastern by Leao-Tong. 
The waters of this shallow sea are deeply 
tinged with the same shade as its yellow 
neighbour. Its entrance does not exceed 
fifty miles in breadth, and is studded with 
numerous islands. The whole eastern shore 
is evidently formed from deposits brought 


down by the various streams which discharge 
themselves into this extensive gulf. It is 
a problem for geologists to solve, in what 
space of time this whole gulf will become 
one vast alluvial district with the Pei-Ho and 
Ta-tching-Ho flowing through its then ricli 
and productive soil. 

The constant heavy northerly gales which 
prevail during the winter months, drive the 
waters out of the gulf at its narrow entrance, 
and preventing their reflux reduce this sea 
much in depth. Indeed during that period 
of the year, the spot where we were at anchor 
in three fathoms water, is nearly or quite 

On passing the Kei-san Islands we ob- 
served that they were well stocked with 
horned cattle. The main-land assumed a 
bold mountainous character, the sides of 
which were well cultivated, and on them 
cattle and sheep appeared to be much more 
numerous than we had before seen ; while 
the hills were in many parts crowded with 
natives gazing at the sight of our passing 
squadron, to them so novel. 


On the 7th, the flag-ship made a telegra- 
phic- signal to us to examine a junk which 
was in sight, and if laden with grain, to 
detain her. We accordingly bore up for that 
purpose, when she perceiving our intention, 
did the same ; but the attempt to escape was 
useless, and we quickly came up with her. 
We had, however, to fire several muskets at 
her before she would heave-to ; when, hav- 
ing been dispatched for that purpose in an 
armed cutter, I got on board her, I found she 
w^as long and very low, her upper deck being 
nearly a wash with the water, with the two 
usual large sails, differing only in being made 
of cotton, with Chinese characters on them, 
marking her as a tribute junk. The after 
part of her deck was covered with a tent, 
under which was squatted an inferior man- 
darin, who retained his position, looking 
much frightened, and yet assuming an air of 
indignation, at one of the "barbarians" pre- 
suming to take possession of the helm of an 
imperial craft. The crew were assembled 
before the foremast on their knees, perform- 
ing a perpetual koo-to ; but, on being as- 


sured that we intended them no injury, 
recovered sufficient self-possession to assist in 
taking off the hatches. She was laden with 
a small green bean from which soy is made, 
therefore, being useless to us, she was not 
detained. The centre of this vessel was 
divided into several compartments, the bulk- 
heads being so strong as to make each com- 
pletely independent in case of springing a 
leak. Some of these divisions contained the 
beans in bulk ; one was a water-tank, and 
another, from its various contents, appeared 
to be doing duty as a store-room. 

On the 8th we hove-to till daylight, and 
then anchored, the breeze increasing to a 
fresh gale from the north-east ; steamers and 
transports rejoined company. 

Thermometer . . 78 
Barometer . . 29 — 76 

On the 9th, at eleven a.m., we weighed 
with the squadron, and stood in towards the 
Pei-Ho, the smaller vessels being placed 
ahead and on the bows of the flag-ship, to 
show by signal every change in the depth of 
the water. The bottom was a soft mud, 

212 LORD palmerston's despatch. 

gradually shoaling from ten to seven fathoms; 
in which depth the Wellesley was anchored, 
while the Modeste stood in due west, seven 
miles nearer, towards the Pei-Ho, and brought 
up in five fathoms ; from whence we could 
just distinguish from off the deck two large 
square buildings, apparently rising out of the 
sea ; it was impossible to say whether they 
were forts or not. 

At daylight on the 10th, we hoisted out 
the boats, and prepared them for service, the 
atmosphere being very hazy. At two p.m., 
I proceeded with the pinnace and cutter to 
the Madagascar steamer, where I found 
Captain Elliot, with four boats from the 
ofF-shore ships. Our destination was to be 
the Pei-Ho; the object of it to deliver a chop 
requiring the authorities to send a proper 
officer to receive Lord Palmerston's despatch, 
which was generally understood to contain 
the terms of restitution and compensation 
required by the British government, for the 
late wanton acts and injuries which had been 
committed by the local authorities at Canton 
against the British subjects. 


The steamers with the boats in tow, stand- 
ing towards the shore anchored in three 
fathoms ; when it was found too late to 
think of entering the river that evening, our 
Chinese pilots stating the tide would not 
admit of our doing so. These men had been 
taken out of a junk, and were promised, if 
they performed their duty properly, their 
vessel should be restored to them as soon as 
the boats returned to their ships. 

The steamer being anchored, Mr. Dicey 
very hospitably provided a dinner for all 
hands, — to me, especially, not an unwelcome 
sight, — for, griffin-like, I had left the ship 
without remembering Sir Dugald Dalgetty's 
maxim, and therefore had to exist on the 
donations of ray friends. After a merry 
evening, and drinking success to the China 
expedition, each one endeavoured to look out 
the softest plank ; mine must have been the 
hardest on board, for it was the very oppo- 
site to soft. 

On the morning of the 11 th all was bustle ; 
the boats being prepared, at six o'clock 
started for the river; the flag-ship's barge 


leading, with Captain Elliot and several 
other gentlemen on board. 

From the entrance of the river a flat ex- 
tends about three miles oat which becomes 
dry at low water, the force of the river 
keeping a deep passage open through it; 
but as the stream expands on the outer edge 
of the flat, a bar is formed on which there 
is only thirteen feet water at the top of the 
highest spring tide. The passage was desig- 
nated by a few single bamboos which the 
Chinese had not found time wholly to 
remove, though some of the inner ones were 
cut down. Our Chinese pilots were of little 
use, for we soon found the outer bamboos 
without their assistance; they were much 
frightened for fear of meeting with the man- 
darins though dressed in seamen's jackets, 
having their tails coiled round their heads, 
over which was a straw hat ; but to make 
certain of the poor fellows' safety, they were 
put into the cutter and sent back to the 
steamer. Just after crossing the bar a small 
boat was boarded with three men, out of 
which one was prevailed upon to enter the 


barge ; but no sooner were questions put 
about the mandarins than he evinced the 
greatest alarm, and his companions, watching 
their opportunity, slipped away and ran their 
light skiff upon the mud, where we could 
not get near them, nor would anything tempt 
them to approach us again ; and as our friend 
would know nothing, he was permitted to 
jump overboard ; of which permission he 
quickly availed himself, splashing through 
the water with apparent delight. 

A mandarin's boat beins; seen ahead drivinsr 
all the boats and vessels into the river, Lieut. 
W. Maitland in the barge, accompanied 
by Captain Elliot, and others, proceeded to 
communicate with her, giving me directions 
to anchor with the other boats. On getting 
alongside they found several mandarins, who 
engaged to take the chop in, the barge fol- 
lowing them. As she touched the beach, 
the mandarins on shore in their satin boots, 
regardless of the mud and water, ran up to 
their knees to meet her, begging they would 
come no nearer, and assured them that the 
Viceroy Keshen was at Toong-koo, where he 

2l6 A CHOP. 

had been some days awaiting the arrival of 
the squadron. On Lieutenant Maitland's 
delivering the letter, of which he was the 
bearer, a mounted mandarin immediately 
started with it for Toong-koo. 

From where the boats were anchored I 
could with my glass distinguish that a very 
large concourse of people had assembled 
round the barge ; and feeling that in case of 
any treachery on the part of the Chinese, 
the whole might be killed or carried off 
before I could render them any assistance, 
I determined to run closer in with the 
boats, so that our guns might be effective. 
Closing to within about a quarter of a mile 
I brought up, and it appeared afterwards, 
that at that very moment the mandarins 
were requesting that orders might be sent 
off to prohibit our nearer approach for feai' 
of alarming the people; nor could they under- 
stand how their wishes had apparently been 
so instantaneously communicated to us. In 
about two hours the messeng-er returned 
from Keshen with a chop for the plenipo- 
tentiaries, stating that he had no authority to 


treat, but must first report the arrival of the 
squadron to Pekin, for which he would 
require six days. 

This coast had a wretched appearance 
from the boats, being nearly a dead flat 
interspersed with small sand-hills, but not 
having a symptom of vegetation to relieve 
the eye. On each side of the entrance of 
the river there was an old and delapidated 
fort, fast falling to decay. On the top of 
the western one were several tents pitched ; 
one of which was blue and yellow, with a 
red triangular flag flying over it. Nume- 
rous workmen were seen busy repairing these 
forts and throwing up entrenchments in all 
directions -, and before the squadron finally 
quitted the coast the whole face of the shore 
bristled with cannon. 

On our return out of the river the course 
to the bar was S.E. by E. We passed 
several of the largest junks we had ever 
seen, which were just entering the river. 
They were nearly as high out of the water 
as any of our two-decked ships, and appeared 
crowded with passengers, among whom could 

VOL. I. L 


be distinguished many female heads; the 
hair, formed in a knot on the top of the 
head, pointing out their sex, which, other- 
wise, a stranger has difficulty in discovering, 
so much of the masculine attire being 
blended with their easy and comfortable 

A-head of these floating cities were their 
boats, which were, in fact, miniature junks 
towing them over the bar. On platforms, fixed 
on each side of the junk, there were men try- 
ing the depth of water with long graduated 
bamboo poles, calling the soundings at every 
pole. These junks w^ere gorgeously painted, 
having their stems much ornamented with 
the everlasting Chinese dragon. They were, 
we understood, just arrived from Japan. 
From the numerous masts we saw over the 
land, and the variety of vessels sailing in and 
out of this river, a most flourishing trade 
must be going on at the great buying and 
selling mouth, as this entrance is styled. The 
large vessels can only cross the bar at spring 
tides, and then are frequently obliged to 
discharge part of their cargo into smaller 


ones, which are kept for that purpose. Du- 
ring a strong breeze we experienced on the 
18th, a large junk parted her cable, and tried 
to run for the river, but struck on the eastern 
side of the bar, where she was bilged, and 
formed an admirable beacon to us after- 

On the 12th, the steamers, with several 
boats of the squadron, proceeded to sound 
the bar, which the steamer crossed, and 
anchored close under the fort in five fathom 

Orders having been issued the day before 
for the detention of all junks with provisions, 
the boats of the Volage had detained several ; 
but from adverse wind and tide they were 
obliged to anchor some way from the ship. 

A most melancholy occurrence took place 
on this day. Some seamen left in charge of 
a junk, while the officer was busied with 
others, forgetting their characters as British 
seamen, plundered the cabin of the Chinese 
captain, which, on the officer's return, was 
represented to him, and the things returned. 
A man, named Doyle, being pointed to as 

L 2 


the head aggressor, stoutly denied the charge; 
but, on a search, the things were found in 
his possession, and he was assured that he 
woukl be reported on his return on board ; 
and from the well known justness of his 
captain, he knew his punishment would 
be severe. Unfortunately, shortness of 
hands prevented the lieutenant from put- 
ting him in confinement ; and from the 
number of the Chinese crew, general orders 
were given to keep them before the mast. 
This occurred on the evening of the 11th. 

As the captain of the junk next morning 
came aft to his cabin, he was directed by 
Doyle to go forward, for which purpose he 
was turning, when Doyle discharged his 
musket, and the unfortunate Chinese fell 
shot through the head. The villain, throw- 
ing down his musket, continued eating his 
breakfast. The officer instantly jumped off 
the poop, and had him secured ; and the 
wounded man was removed to the Volage, 
where he lingered for a few days. Doyle 
was afterwards tried by a court martial, at 
which the witnesses sw^ore that he (Doyle) 


had just cleaned his own musket, and laid it 
down with some others. On speaking to the 
Chinaman, he caught up what he supposed 
to be his own unloaded one, and pointed it 
at the man without any intention of injuring 
him. He was allowed the benefit of the 
error, and acquitted of the murder, but sen- 
tenced for the robbery to two years in the 
marshalsea, to be mulct of all pay, and to be 
turned out of her majesty's service with 

On the 13th and 14th, the weather being 
squally and disagreeable, with heavy rain, we 
collected four tons of rain water. This 
quantity was obtained by spreading all the 
awnings, and collecting every bucket and 
tub in the ship to catch the water as it ran 
from them. 

Thermometer , . 78 
Barometer . . 29 — 74 

On the 16th, the admiral, accompanied 
by several boats of the squadron, proceeded 
with the Madagascar to the entrance of the 
river, the boats sounding and taking bearings 
preparatory to any required movement of the 


ships, when it was found that the Modeste 
and steamer, from their light draughty could 
cross the bar on the spring tides. While 
employed on this duty, a mandarin brought 
out the answer from Keshen ; and on seeing 
the employment of the boats, was very angry, 
and wanted to know " why we came and did 
these things without leave." It was found, 
that the bearer of the chop, Showpei Pih 
(better known to us by the sobriquet of 
Captain White), an aide-de-camp of Ke- 
shen's, was empowered to receive Lord Pal- 
merston's letter, and ten days were requested 
for the imperial court to consider the con- 
tents of it, and return their answer. This 
reasonable request was of course complied 
with, and the squadron on the following day 
was dispersed, visiting different parts of the 
Imperial Sea, to gain information and obtain 

Showpei Pih was a captain in the imperial 
cavalry, and sported a white button to denote 
that rank ; he appeared to be a shrewd 
clever fellow, was ever singing the praises of 
his master Keshen, and striving to impress 


US with the viceroy's good feeling towards 
the English; his wish for an amicable ar- 
rangement, in proof of which he had dis 
suaded the emperor from his intention of 
marching an army of Tartars to Chusan, 
and at once sweeping its invaders from the 
face of the earth. 

Pih had a quick and observing eye; 
nothing new was allowed to pass unnoticed, 
but with true Chinese apathy he never 
evinced the slightest astonishment. During 
all his intercourse with us, he proved himself 
an amusing fellow, and had Keshen's star 
remained in the ascendant, he would pro- 
bably have pushed himself to a darker button, 
but the fall of his master involved all the 

On the 16th, the Blonde and Modeste, 
with the Enaurd transport, the latter having 
the water-casks of the flag-ship on board, 
weighed for the purpose of visiting Alceste 
Bay, on the coast of Leao-Tong, there to 
procure water and bullocks. At ten we 
made the Thunder and Lightning Islands, 
on which the surf was beating with tremen- 


dous violence, the roaring of it being heard 
by us five or six miles oiF. Light north-east 

Thermometer . . 86 
Barometer . . 29 — 78 

On the 17th, made the high land of 
Western China, which is composed of a lofty 
rugged range, combining every variety of 
form and figure to be found in mountain 
scenery. Some of our party imagined they 
could trace the great wall crossing many an 
elevated peak. 

On the 18th we experienced hard blowing 
weather from the north-east with a very 
uncomfortable short sea; the Modeste, to 
the great satisfaction of all on board, beat 
the Blonde considerably, going in the wind's 
eye of her. 

Thermometer . . 76 
Barometer . . 29 — 71 

On the 1 9th, daylight found the Blonde 
had parted company during the night. 

Thermometer . . 89 
Barometer . . 29 — 74 


On the 20th, made the eastern coast of 
Leao-Tong, which appears moderately high 
land. The Blonde rejoined at 7*30 p.m., when 
we anchored at Alceste Bay in seven fothoms; 
the watering-place bearing N.E. by E. three- 
quarters of a mile. This anchorage is com- 
pletely open to south and north-west winds. 

The features of the country were sterile, 
in comparison with what we had lately been 
accustomed to see. The hills, however, 
appear to furnish tolerable pasturage for 
cattle; of which we hoped to get a good 
supply, for herds of them were seen grazing 
in the neighbourhood. Fresh provisions 
began to be much wanted in the squadron. 
In the Modeste, in particular, during the 
preceding ten months, the crew had not 
been supplied with above twenty meals of 
fresh meat. 

A beautiful stream of fresh water was 
found running into the sea, just round a 
bluff point, where a range of hills terminated 
and the millet cultivation commenced. Any 
ship watering here must be prepared with 
long hoses to conduct the stream into the 

L 3 


boats, whicli have difficulty in approaching 
at low tide. Any quantity may be obtained 
by forming a temporary dam on the previous 
evening. This water to us was a delicious 
treat, after the filthy stuff we had been lately 
obliged to swallow. 

On the 23rd of August we had not been 
able to purchase anything from the inha- 
bitants, the mandarins having ordered them 
to have no dealings with us. These gentry 
had removed their buttons and other ensigns 
of office, so that we could not distinguish 
them from the other inhabitants. 

It had been observed, that the cattle were 
penned at a peculiar spot every night ; Captain 
Bourchier therefore determined to attempt 
their capture. At two in the morning, the 
Blonde's and our boats started on that 
service, but as they touched the beach, it 
became evident the Chinese expected such 
a visit, for the alarm was given by a man 
evidently placed there on the look out. 

On his giving the alarm, the pen was 
opened, when out scampered the cattle, 
spreading in every direction, apparently as 


loath to have anything to do with us as their 
masters. Three beasts only, with two calves, 
were brought on board ; two or three having 
escaped on the return of the men to the 
boats, proving the party to be no borderers, or 
they would have better understood how to 
manage a raid. 

After the party had embarked, the owners 
of the bullocks ventured alongside the Blonde, 
where they were kindly received, and ten 
dollars a-head paid them for their cattle, 
with which sum they were highly pleased, 
and signed a paper in Chinese to that effect, 
and that they considered the whole a very 
fair proceeding ; but they could not be pre- 
vailed on to part with any more voluntarily. 

This evidently arose from the orders of 
the mandarins, to which may be added their 
own disinclination to part with what they 
considered too useful an animal to kill for 
their own consumption; and yet it is a most 
extraordinary fact, that in no part of China 
is milk made use of. 

Nothing afforded the inhabitants of Chusan 
so much amusement as the milkinjr of the 


goats. The cattle on this peninsula and 
adjacent islands are a small mountain-breed, 
seldom weighing more than three hundred 
weight; they are smooth-skinned, short in 
the horn, with a fine antelope-shaped leg. 

The transport heaving in sight, we were 
obliged to continue watering; but the Blonde's 
boats, after the ship's company's dinner-hour, 
made a most successful foray on an island 
to the southward, where they captured sixty- 
eight head in all, which were speedily em- 
barked. Ducks and fowls were procured in 
a similar manner, and when the owners did 
not appear, the value of them was left in 
their houses. It afforded the youngsters 
much amusement to chase and catch the 
feathered tribe. On one occasion, Captain 
Eyres came suddenly on a house where a 
fresh-dressed salad was standing on a table, 
but the inmates had fled, numerous marks 
of little feet on the sand shewing that they 
had escaped into a neighbouring wood, and 
were no doubt watching the proceedings of 
their visitors. 

At another house was an old man who 


had evidently considered it useless to get out 
of the way. He was very civil, furnished 
the party with poultry and vegetables, for 
which he accepted payment, but with naivete 
asked, **What wind would be fair for the 
ships to go away with?" — thus shewing how 
glad the poor creatures would be when they 
saw our sails set. 

In the evening I landed at the watering- 
place, where many Chinese had assembled, and 
one or two fowls were brought for barter. I 
purchased several very prettily coloured ban- 
gles, made of a peculiar glassy-looking china. 
I found uniform buttons in great request ; but 
the old bangle-merchant was evidently not a 
resident of the place, and understood the full 
value of the precious metal ; for he would 
not part with his wares for any other con- 
sideration. A button off my jaclcet purchased 
me a crystal burning lens j and for a whole 
set of five buttons, a man that was in mourn- 
ing cut off from his jacket his glass ones, 
substituting the crown and anchor in their 

My watch afforded them much amusement. 

230 PADDY. 

One of the party appeared by his signs to 
understand the use of it. I took good care 
not to allow it out of my hands when open ; 
but I should recommend any person dealing 
with these people, to take a telescope, and 
lend it to some one in the crowd. The 
insatiate curiosity of the Chinese will keep 
them from pressing or annoying him, while 
his glass will be in perfect safety ; for I have 
seen no act or attempt to pilfer on the part 
of the inhabitants of these islands. I cannot 
say as much for Canton. Captain Basil 
Hall in his NarrativCy gives an account of a 
singular instance of honesty met with at 

Of eggs we could find very few, and they 
were generally carefully treasured. In one 
house a pile of bricks, or what appeared 
bricks, excited our curiosity ; for they proved 
on examination to be square lumps of paddy 
pounded up together, and thus kept for the 
purpose of distilling shamsoo from them, — 
an ardent spirit in general use throughout 

Their bed places were most curious, being 


long stone troughs, which in winter have hot 
embers placed in them ; when, being covered 
over with large stones, the bedding is spread 
at top, thus making a warm and comfortable 
resting-place. The population does not 
appear to be great, and there was much 
waste land perfectly capable of cultivation. 

Captain Eyres, in pulling round the bays, 
fell in with some junks laden with coals, of 
which he brought a specimen away. They 
seemed to be bright, and of good appearance. 
As far as he could understand from the crews 
of the junks, they came from mines about 
thirty miles off. This is well worthy of 
attention, and may be the means of supply- 
ing any of our steamers which may be em- 
ployed for the future in the Gulf of Petche-li. 
The men appeared a small race, clothed in 
the usual loose jacket and trowsers, with the 
everlasting Chinese accompaniments, — fan 
and pipe; the latter of which, while out of use, 
is generally carried in the hand, while the fan 
with most of them is slipped inside the boot. 

A Chinese crowd has a droll appearance 
from their pipes being held up over the head 


to prevent the pressure of the crowd injuring 
them. About this part of the coast we 
could never get a sight of the women, but 
the marks of their small footsteps were 
frequently observed, proving their true 
Chinese origin. There is no doubt but that 
this peninsula, with the adjacent islands, 
were peopled by the Chinese during the 
invasion of the Tartars, — thousands of them 
preferring emigration to submitting to their 
savage conquerors. 

Thermometer . . 80 

Barometer , . 30 — 10 

On the 26th, thirty minutes after two, p.m., 
these poor people's wishes were gratified, the 
squadron making sail to rejoin the admiral. 

On the 27th, a fresh north-east wind soon 
carried us to an anchorage near the flag-ship, 
where we learnt that the answer from the court 
which ought to have come yesterday, had not 
yet arrived ; but the Volage telegraphed that 
a boat was wishing to communicate. 

While we had been visiting Alceste Bay, 
the Volage, Captain George Elliot^ had 
proceeded to Mantchow Tartary, a tributary 


of China. Brass buttons appeared to be of 
much more value there, than we had found 
them : for they were able to purchase a sheep 
and poultry for a single one. They were 
received kindly by the inhabitants, who made 
no difficulty in bartering provisions. In 
the rambles and shooting excursions of the 
officers in the interior, they found quantities 
of game. The men are a fine race, and 
evinced the same jealousy in the care of their 
women, which had been generally observed 
in most other parts of the Chinese empire. 

The Wellesley and Pylades proceeded to 
Toke, where they w^ere supplied with water 
and bullocks, and a present was sent off by 
the head mandarin of some very fine grapes. 
As the ships stood in, the women were seen 
escaping over a hill behind the town. They 
must fancy us a horridly ungallant set of 
beings, thus to fly from us in all directions. 

On the 28th, the chop not having arrived, 
the admiral proceeded in the steamer, in 
which was embarked part of the Wellesley's 
marines, with the boats of the squadron, to 
buoy the bar and passage to the river. The 


remaining marines of the Wellesley being 
put on board the Modeste, we weighed 
and stood in, full of the hope of entering 
the Pei-Ho. But alas ! our hopes were to be 
disappointed ; for the admiral met a chop 
coming out, announcing that the emperor 
had appointed Keshen his commissioner to 
treat with us. This was much to be regretted ; 
for if we had entered the river, we might 
have brought them to some definite treaty. 
Tien-sing, a large commercial city at the 
junction of the Yun-liang canal, would then 
have been at our mercy ; a few hours being 
sufficient to convey the steamer and ship 
there, when once over the bar ; and I appre- 
hend the blaze of the grain junks there 
assembled, with that of the city if requisite, 
would have aroused the emperor to a sense of 
his danger, and our own terms might have 
been obtained. 

Though occupying a longer time, the same 
object would be gained by a strict blockade 
of the mouths of the rivers Pei-Ho, San-Ho, 
and Chan-tou, supported by one established 
up the Yang-tse-kiang. It would be still 


more efficient up the Hong-Ho, or Yellow 
River, in both cases off the spot where the 
great canal intersects these rivers. Thus 
Pekin, which depends for its supplies on the 
southern provinces, would be reduced to the 
greatest straits for provisions, which would 
instantly produce a rising in the capital, and 
probably end in the overthrow of the present 
dynasty. Of this the emperor is so well 
aware, that he takes great care that no want of 
grain or provisions shall be felt in the capital. 
On the morning of the 29th, junks came 
out with supplies for the fleet, sent by 
the emperor's orders. They consisted of 
twenty bullocks, two hundred sheep, with 
numerous ducks and fowls, and one or 
two thousand eggs ; but as they were far 
advanced towards chickenhood, the boatmen 
were allowed to retain them, — and much 
pleased did they appear with their booty. 
The mandarins in charge of the presents wore 
brass buttons, and were fine specimens of men. 
From under thebutton, and extending behind, 
they had two strips of fur, about six inches 
long. I have since learnt that these squirrel 


tails, as we named them, were worn to denote 
that the country was in an unquiet state. 

These gentry were handed down to the 
cabin, and made no objection to a glass of 
gin ; but the true way to a Chinaman's 
heart, is with a glass of cherry-brandy : it 
possesses a charm he cannot resist ; nor is 
that much to be wondered at, — 

A fellow feeling makes us wond'rous kind. 

The Wellesley's marines were sent back 
in the steamer, and the meeting with 
Keshen was finally arranged to take place 
on tlie morrow. Captain Elliot, the second 
plenipotentiary, was to attend on the part 
of the British ; it being considered, that the 
dignity of the admiral, as chief plenipoten- 
tiary, might suffer in the eyes of the Chinese, 
if a meeting should take place between him 
and an envoy from the celestial court, not 
accredited with full plenipotentiary powers. 

At 10 P.M., the Madagascar stopping near 
us. Captain Eyres went on board her to 
attend Captain Elliot at the conference to be 
held the next day, when a true Chinese 
entertainment was served up; but their 

keshen's arguments. 237 

feasts have been described so often before, 
and this one, in particular, so ably by Lord 
Jocelyn^, that I shall pass it by, merely 
noticing one or two little circumstances 
which appear to liave escaped his lordship's 

When some of the party had succeeded 
in eluding the vigilance of the mandarins, 
and managed to get a stolen peep at what 
was to be seen beyond the screens which 
surrounded the tents where they were 
regaled, several of the lower orders were 
squatted on their haunches, with the Jiope of 
getting a sight of the English barbarians 
who were within. The moment they caught 
the eye of any of the party, they made signs 
to them to punch the mandarins; but the 
instant a button appeared, they waddled off 
at a most extraordinary pace, considering 
that they still retained their squatting position. 

The conference lasted six hours. One of 
Keshen's principal arguments was, that we 
had better take a part of our demand, or we 
might, perchance, lose all. He freely 
admitted that the English had been ill-used. 


and that it would have served Lin right, if 
we had retaliated at Canton, and punished 
him; but not being empowered to enter into 
a definitive treaty, he required twelve days 
more to communicate with the court. The 
time was granted, and the parties returned 
to their respective ships. 

Any remuneration for the supplies was 
refused ; it being stated, that all the mem- 
bers of the mission were considered the 
emperor's guests. On the 31st, a junk 
brought off a supply of fodder for the cattle, 
principally shamsoo-grains ; the bullocks eat 
it greedily. There was also a small propor- 
tion of millet for the sheep and fowls. 

On the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of September, 
nothing of note occurred ; we experienced 
fine weather, with southerly winds. The 
diarrhoea had, by the goodness of Providence, 
gradually yielded under the able treatment of 
our surgeon, Mr. B. M'Avoy. He had admi- 
nistered, internally, a pill with caustic, which 
was attended with most beneficial effects. 

Thermometer . . 78 

Barometer . 29—78 to 29—73 


On the 4th, the admiral, accompanied by 
a party from the squadron, made a trip in 
the Madagascar steamer, to the great wall, 
and approached very near to the point of the 
coast where it terminates. The wall appears 
to descend the side of the very rugged and 
precipitous mountains in this neighbourhood, 
stretching for about three miles in a north- 
erly direction across a plain, where it reaches 
a ledge of rocks, with which it is itself 
intermixed, until the end of it is lost in the 
neighbouring sea. 

The latitude of the spot . 40° 4' N. 

Longitude . . . . 120" 2' E. 

On the 5th, we had been ordered to take 
millet from the junks that might pass us 
laden with that grain, and pay them one 
dollar per hundred pounds. The officer 
on this duty was furnished with a series of 
questions in Chinese, to which he was to 
make the master write down the answers. 
On one occasion, when it was sent to the 
interpreter for translation, their answers 
proved to be a protest against the proceed- 
ing. They were government boats ; the 


price paid was more than its real value, and 
it was absolutely necessary to have it, to 
prevent the cattle from perishing. 

On the 7th, it blew a fresh gale from the 

Thermometer . . SO 

Barometer . . 29—73 

On the 10th, Showpei Pih again made his 
appearance, announcing the appointment of 
Keshen as high commissioner^ to proceed to 
Canton to inquire into and redress the wrongs 
which had there been inflicted on us; fur- 
ther requesting, in the emperor's name, that 
the British plenipotentiary should there meet 
him for a final arrangement, and that a sus- 
pension of hostilities should take place pend- 
ing the negotiation. 

These terms were finally agreed to. I 
concurred with some others in thinking, as I 
still do, that the emperor would not make 
the concessions required, by several of 
which he would "loose face" in the eyes 
of his subjects ; and in doubting whether 
that Keshen held out his fallacious hopes 
of a redress of all our grievances with any 


Other idea than that of gaining time, and 
getting the squadron out of the Imperial 
Sea ; in which quarter he was fully aware of 
their inability to make on the moment any 
effective resistance. Yet the plenipotentiaries 
could do no otherwise with any degree of 
propriety, than accede to the emperor's ap- 
parently reasonable wishes. Might they not 
naturally suppose, that the Pekin cabinet had 
used the same argument to the emperor, 
which was ever urged to us, " that the acts 
complained of, and now first known to them, 
had occurred at Canton, and therefore that 
Canton was the proper place for them to be 
inquired into and redressed ?" 

Had the plenipotentiaries in their very 
first intercourse with the court, assumed that 
in all its promises it was insincere, and con- 
sequently refused to have met the third 
dignitary of the Chinese empire, as had been 
proposed, would they not have been justly 
subjected to a censure from their own go- 
vernment, for a presumed foreknowledge 
that the emperor intended to play false ? 
And the strongest reason of all is, that the 

VOL. I. M 


season was too far advanced for offensive 

operations taking place in the gulf, with full 

and proper effect. This step, therefore, did 

not, in fact, retard any ulterior operations. 

The 12th, 13th, and 14th were occupied 

in trying the man belonging to the Volage 

who had shot the Chinese on board the junk 

on the 12th ultimo. 

Thermometer . . 70 

Barometer . . 29 — 79 



Quit the Pei-Ho — Toke — City of Tong-Tchou-foo — 
Chinese Ladies — Defences — Manning the Guns — 
Chinese Banners — Arms — Paoupang — Jealousy of 
Mandarins — Mia-tau Group — Artificial Harbour — 
Dandy Mandarin — Dissertation on Tails — Mandarin's 
Attendant — The Cabin and Curiosity — Rejoin Ad- 
miral — Mountain of Flesh — His Appetite — Admira- 
tion of Fatness — Mia-tau — Loss of Pinnace — Use of 
Telescope — Chinese Dejeune — Sculling Boats — 
Chin-chin not Chin-chin — Quelpert — Ordered off 
Ning-po — Wreck of Kite — Cruel treatment of her 
Crew — Dimensions of Cages — Death of Prisoners 
• — Their Release — Capture of Captain Anstruther. — 
Attempt to kidnap Messrs. Bencraft and Prattent. 

But when the vessel is on quicksands cast, 

The flowing tide does more the sinking haste. — Dryden. 

The expedition to the Pei-Ho having thus 
far apparently brought to a peaceable con- 
clusion the discussion in question, nothing 
farther remained to be done off that river. 

On the 15th of September, therefore, the 
squadron proceeded on its return to Chusan ; 
and, standing across this shallow sea, an- 
chored on the evening of the 16th, off a 
small village on the Island of Toke, where 

M 2 

244 TOKE. 

it was expected we should meet with an old 
Canton compradore, with whom the Pylades 
had communicated on a former visit ; but it 
appeared that he had been taken into Keshen's 
service, and was at the present moment at 

Toke is a small but fertile island, situated 
at the entrance of the Gulf of Petche-li, 
and affords a good anchorage and a conve- 
nient watering-place. The village consisted 
of about one hundred houses. 

On the 17th, having embarked Captain 
Charles Elliot and Mr. Morrison, the inter- 
preter, we weighed in the Modesto, and 
stood over for Tong-Tchou-foo, a large walled 
city on the north side of the peninsula of 
Chang-Tong. The walls of this city are 
high and strongly built. From the gradual 
rise of the ground on which they stand, we 
were enabled to make out, that they were 
about thirty feet thick, affording an elevated 
and good road round the city, with a castel- 
lated parapet, on which were mounted a few 
miserable wall-pieces. 

The houses, which occupied about half the 


inclosed space, were principally the single- 
storied stone and brick buildings of China. 
Towards the upper end of the town there 
was a spacious and handsome joss-house; 
while the red poles*, in sundry directions, 
pointed out the locality of the mandarins, 
whose residence in this city appeared more 
numerous than we had generally observed. 
On the western angle of the town was a 
small and ill-constructed fort^ with several 
smart-looking houses near it, gorgeously 
ornamented with the elaborate but dispro- 
portioned Chinese roof; at the windows of 
which we could with our glasses distinguish 
many pretty little female faces, whose hus- 
bands, little dreaming of the peeping Toms, 
had not taken their usual jealous precautions; 
so that their car a sposas had a full oppor- 
tunity of exposing their charms to the " bar- 
barian eye." The ladies of China paint 
white and red, with the eye-brows marked 
with fine black lines. 

From our distant view their theatrically- 
painted faces had a pretty and pleasing ap- 

* Throughout China, two red poles are erected before 
the residence of government officers. 


pearance ; their hair being turned up, and 
forming a knot at the top of the head, on 
each side of which bouquets of artificial 
flowers were fixed. I really must apologize 
for allowing the ladies thus to run away with 
my pen in the middle of a Chinese position, 
and beg my readers to hurry back with me 
to the lines. 

From the fort I was speaking of, and 
beyond the walls, a high bluff point extended 
into the sea, whence an invading force would 
command the interior of the city. To the 
east there is an extensive flat ; from which 
the ground gradually rises to the hills in the 
rear of the town, that were thickly covered 
with millet-fields, interspersed with rich pas- 
turage lands; the cattle that were kept there 
were removed on our arrival. Alons; the 
face of this flat, and close to, and pointing 
seaward, was an evidently new but strong 
field-work, having from forty to fifty pieces 
of cannon mounted along its face. On each 
flank of this apparently strong position were 
large encampments of troops, surrounded by 
numerous wall-pieces on triangular and port- 
able stands. 


Our appearance evidently created an im- 
mense sensation among the tiger-hearted 
Tartars. The troops were hurrying out in 
great numbers, but without the most distant 
attempt at discipline. They very soon 
mounted the works, pitching a standard 
at each gun. Their standards were yellow, 
red, green with red borders, and the reverse. 
This evidently proved the presence of both 
description of troops ; for the Tartar part of 
the Chinese army are ranged in eight divi- 
sions of 10,000 men, each under the colours 
yellow, white, red, and blue, or one of the 
colours bordered by the other ; thus consti- 
tuting a standing army of 80,000 men. The 
Chinese are distinguished by a green banner 
with a red border, or the reverse, on the 
centre of which is displayed the large gilt 
dragon of China. 

The walls of the city were crowded by 
thousands of the inhabitants to gaze on 
the barbarian sanpan. As she stood along 
shore and close to their lines, we could see 
many of the fairer portion of the creation 
amongst the crowd, no doubt led there by 
the inherent curiosity of their sex. 


On the hills, to the westward of the town, 
were several detachments of troops. Alto- 
gether, this amphitheatre of hills spotted 
with white and party-coloured tents, the 
gorgeous banners, and picturesque grouping 
of the troops, made the coup deceit highly 
pleasing. Their arms consisted of match- 
locks, bows and arrows, with a great variety 
of pikes and swords ; the mandarins being 
mounted on strong but small-looking nags. 

Mr. Morrison landed as bearer of a chop, 
requesting a supply of provisions ; and while 
he was conducting the negotiation the galley 
returned with Paoupang, the compradore 
we were in search of, and who was after- 
wards at Canton the means of communica- 
tion between Keshen and the British pleni- 

This man had formerly been compradore to 
Mr. Dent's establishment at Canton, but on 
the arrival of Lin, had thought it advisable to 
leave that neighbourhood. He had now been 
given, or more probably had purchased the 
rank of an inferior mandarin. He wore a win- 
ter cap with brass button, minus the squirrel 
tails, which we had before seen at the Pei-Ho. 


His robe was a rich puce-coloured satin, 
reaching about half way down the legs, 
which were encased in black satin boots, 
with the sole about two inches in thickness. 
He professed much regard for the English : 
but, like all his countrymen, he was a most 
intolerable liar. He had many wonderful 
tales of his escapes since leaving Canton, and 
assured us that the mandarins had squeezed 
him to the tune of seventy thousand dollars. 
This I afterwards ascertained was the greatest 
"Munchausen'' of all his tales ; for he could 
never have been possessed of one-tenth part 
of that sum. In alluding to the present dis- 
pute and Keshen's trip to the south, he 
remarked in his Canton -English, — " Can go 
makee talkee ; — my thinkee no can settee 
this pigeon j — must makee that emperor cry/' 
When, as he supposed, he had astounded 
us with the magnificence of his new master, 
we got rid of our talkative friend. Mr. 
Morrison returned in the boat that landed 
him, the mandarins having promised to fur- 
nish us with the supplies we required. We 
learnt from him that though he had been 

M 3 


treated with much courtesy, yet on his ex- 
pressing a wish to go into the city, he met 
with a good humoured and civil refusal ; 
the mandarins laughing, and assuring him 
that " it was such a poor place as not to be 
worth seeing — in fact, he would laugh at it.'' 
It is almost incredible with what jealousy 
the Chinese guard their cities and country 
from the observation of strangers. 

Our object being attained, we made sail to 
rejoin the admiral at Toke, where we arrived 
by four o'clock on the morning of the 18th. 

Captain Elliot returning to the flag-ship, 
we bore up for the Mia-tau group, and an- 
chored about ten o'clock under the south 
side of the centre island, bearing the same 
name ; Wellesley, Volage, and transport, 
arriving about an hour after. 

These islands are moderately high, the 
hilly parts affording a very scanty vegetation ; 
while the valleys luxuriate in the usual 
Chinese plenty. Between this and the 
easternmost island, Kei-san, there is an an- 
chorage much frequented by junks. From 
the westernmost one, Shan-san, an extensive 


reef runs out, shoaling suddenly from seven- 
teen fathoms. We found on getting those 
soundings it was requisite to put the helm 
immediately down, and then before the ship 
was round we had shoaled to a half-five. 

On the 19th we were once more under 
all sail with Captain Elliot and a party for 
Tong-Tchou-foo. At eight, Captain Elliot 
and Mr. Morrison landed on the west side 
the town, within a natural break-water 
formed by a small reef, the surf being too 
heavy on the beach to admit of their doing 
so there. We now saw from the ship a large 
artificial harbour, formed by strongly built 
stone piers, between which an opening was 
left capable of admitting the largest junks, 
but which are obliged to go in and out at 
high water ; several were at this time, it 
being low water, aground in the harbour. 

Captain Elliot, after a short stay, returned 
to the ship, accompanied by Paoupang; when 
the boat immediately went back for a man- 
darin and his servant, who were very anxious 
to accompany Captain Elliot, no doubt as 
spies on the compradore, of whom they 


evinced great jealousy; but as Captain Elliot 
wanted to have some private communication 
with this man, the smallness of the boat 
afforded a ready opportunity for declining 
their company. 

This mandarin was one of the finest spe- 
cimens of a man I had till then seen in 
China. He stood about six feet two or 
three inches, and was apparently stout in 
proportion. He wore the winter cap, the 
crown of which was of a puce-coloured satin, 
shaped to, and fitting close to the head, with 
a brim of black velvet* turned sharply up 
all round, the front and hinder parts rising 
rather higher than the sides, — in fact, in 
shape much resembling the paper boats we 
make for children. On the dome-shaped top 
of this he wore a white crystal sexangular 
button, in a handsome setting. Beneath 
this was a one-eyed peacock's feather falling 
down between his shoulders. This feather 
was set in green jade-stone about two inches 
long, beyond which about ten inches of the 

* This, with the lower orders, is frequently formed 
of black cloth. 


feather projected, and though apparently but 
one, is, in fact, formed of several most beau- 
tifully united. 

His ma-kwa, or riding-coat, was of fine 
blue camlet, the large sleeves of which ex- 
tended about half down the fore-arm, and 
the skirts nearly to the hip. Under this he 
wore a richly-figured blue silk jacket, the 
sleeves equally large, but reaching nearly to 
the wrist, and the skirts sufficiently long 
to display the full beauty of it below the ma- 
kwa. These loose dresses always fold over 
the right breast, and are fastened from top to 
bottom with loops and buttons. His unwhis- 
perables were of a light blue figured Nankin 
crape, cut much in the modern Greek style, 
being immediately below the knee tucked 
into the black satin mandarin boots, that 
in shape much resemble the old hessian, once 
so common in this country, with soles some 
two inches thick, the sides of which were kept 
nicely white, Warren's jet not yet having been 
introduced. To this part of his dress a Chi- 
nese dandy pays as much attention as our 
exquisites do to the formation of a " Humby." 


The figure was completed by his apparently- 
warlike, but really peaceable implements,, 
which no respectable Chinaman would be 
seen without, viz., the fan with its highly- 
worked sheath ; the purse or tobacco-pouch, 
in the exquisite embroidery of which great 
ingenuity is displayed; avariety of silver tooth 
and ear-picks, with a pocket for his watch, 
the belt to which these are attached having a 
small leather case fixed to it, to contain his 
flint and steel. I had nearly forgotten his 
tail, — his beautiful tail, the pride of every 
Chinaman's heart, — and in this case, if all 
his own, he might well be proud of it. I am 
afraid to say how thick it was, but it reached 
half way down his leg, and I would defy 
Rowland's macassar to g-ive a finer opIoss. 
In short, he was the very epitome of a dandi- 
fied Chinese cavalry otficer. 

On the subjugation of China by the Tartars 
an edict was issued, requiring the whole 
nation to shave the front of the head, and to 
plat the residue of the hair into a tail, the 
length and size of which is considered in 
China a great mark of masculine beauty, in 

chinaman's tail. 255 

consequence of which great quantities of 
false hair are worked up with the natural 
hair, the ends being finished off with black 
silk cord. To the lower orders it is a useful 
ornament. I remember, on one occasion, to 
have seen a Chinaman flogging his pig along 
with it, while on another, the servant was 
dusting the table. When their bellige- 
rent propensities are excited, which is not 
often, they will twist each other's tails round 
their hands, pulling with all their strength, 
and endurino; the most horrible torture until 
one or the other cries out peccavL 

While this mandarin was mounting the 
ship's side, his fan had been allowed to rest 
in its case; but he was no sooner firmly on 
the deck, than out flew this everlasting 
companion of a Chinaman : nor do I think 
he could have accomplished his salute with- 
out it. 

The attendant was not so tall, but an 
exceedingly muscular and powerful fellow, 

His leg would make a chairman stare ; 

and I think they must have been picked out 


to make us imagine we had nothing but such 
herculean men to deal with. 

White Button having been ushered into 
the captain's cabin, where cherry brandy was 
produced, a long conversation took place 
between Paoupang and Captain Elliot relative 
to the supplies, &c.; the mandarin fre- 
quently asked what they were saying. On one 
occasion, when Paoupang had been exposing 
and abusing the whole fraternity, he answered 
White Button's query by assuring him, that 
he was telling the captain what very good per- 
sons mandarins were, and that the people liked 
them very much. Paoupang, at all events, 
made such a good story out of the mandarin's 
refusing to receive any compensation for the 
small quantity of supplies furnished^ and of 
their squeezing him ultimately for it, that it 
was arranged that he should be paid for all 
that should have been supplied when he 
came to Canton with Keshen, by which 
means he would prevent the mandarins at 
this place getting hold of the dollars. That 
the inhabitants generally were squeezed and 
made to give their cattle as a bribe for us to 


go away, I think very possible ; but I do not 
think they would have ventured to squeeze 
an attache of Keshen's: at all events, he 
succeeded in squeezing us. 

Having got rid of our visitors, the chief 
of whom seemed rather disgusted at his ser- 
vant having found his way to the lower deck, 
where he had been revelling in the charms 
of a glass of grog, we made sail to rejoin 
the admiral ; but light winds and a lee tide, 
obliged us to anchor for the night. 

On the 20th, having anchored near the 
flag-ship, about 6 a.m.. Captain Elliot and 
his party quitted us. Captain Eyres, waiting 
on the admiral shortly afterwards, found 
him entertaining at breakfast a party of 
mandarins from Mia-tau, the chief of whom 
was a huge mountain of flesh, — say thirty-jive 
stone, — whose great boast was, that a sheep 
only furnished him with three days' supply of 
food; and to judge from the justice they all 
did to the substantial breakfast before them, 
it could easily be believed ; the mountain, 
for I forget his name, taking up the slices of 
mutton as they were sent to him, on his fork, 


and coiling them down his throat, much as 
a Neapolitan swallows his macaroni ; nor 
did he appear to have satisfied the cravings 
of his inordinate appetite, after all his exer- 
tions. By his countrymen he must be 
thought much of, fatness with them being 
a sure sign of wealth and wisdom ; for 
they argue, "a thin man must be a poor 
devil, or he would have wisdom to eat more." 

The lusty individual is also considered an 
especial favourite with the gods, who are 
represented as good portly characters. 
Being myself " none of Pharaoh's lean 
kine," I always met with a certain degree 
of deference. 

It being arranged that the Volage, Mo- 
deste, and the two transports, should remain 
to embark the bullocks and other supplies, 
the Wellesley sailed for Chusan about 
eleven o'clock, the Madagascar having pro- 
ceeded there some days before ; while the 
Blonde and Pylades were gone to visit the 
coast of the Corea. 

The men having dined, I pulled to the 
beach, with an intention of viewing the village, 

MARKET. 259 

a few hundred yards inland, in which how- 
ever I did not succeed, being quietly and ci- 
villy turned back ; and even an attempt to 
mount their barren hills was met by the same 
jealous opposition. Thus I was not able to 
proceed, in any one direction, two hundred 
yards from the spot on which I landed. On 
making them understand, by signs, that I 
wanted to purchase vegetables, a market was 
quickly established on the beach ; the sellers 
soon became so numerous, that good bar- 
gains were to be obtained; and when we 
quitted the shore, they were still flocking 
over the hills laden with the produce of their 
lands. Considerable difficulty was expe- 
rienced in our payments, the islanders having 
no change ; in fact, the common metal coin 
of China was not to be seen amongst them. 

The whole male population of the island 
appeared to have hurried down, to satisfy, 
not only their eyes, but their sense of feel- 
ing. Every part of our dress was examined, 
— the buttons, the tails of our coats, the fine- 
ness of which appeared to excite great 
astonishment and to be much admired. 


Finding it impossible to succeed in a trip 
inland, and the steward having completed 
his purchases, I returned to the ship, happy 
to escape this frowsy crowd. 

Every Chinaman is frowsy; which I 
attribute to a paucity of white linen, their 
inner clothing being composed of coloured 
materials, and but rarely washed. The 
mandarins, with all their gorgeous apparel, 
are equally dirty in their under garments. 
I do not recollect ever having seen a Chinese 
performing his ablutions. 

On the 21st, early in the morning, the 
ships were got under w^eigh, and we returned 
to Tong-Tchou-foo. We came to anchor in 
a small bay to the westward of the bluff 
point before spoken of, hoisted the boats out 
and sent them on shore for the purpose of 
embarking the bullocks which had been col- 
lected to meet our requisition. Captains G. 
Elliot and Eyres having landed for the pur- 
pose of having an interview with the man- 
darins, some slight delay took place, during 
which the fresh breeze which then was blow- 
ing rapidly increased to a gale, and, in con- 


sequence, heavy rollers setting suddenly in, 
the Modeste's pinnace was capsized at her 
anchorage. The Volage's being a little fur- 
ther out, made sail, and succeeded in getting 
off shore. 

About noon, Captain Elliot, in his whale- 
boat, was enabled to get through the surf, 
and passing under the ship's stern, relieved 
our anxiety for the crew of the pinnace, by 
informing us that they had all got safely to 
the shorCj where they would remain with 
Captain Eyres until the gale abated. The 
mandarins civilly pitched tents for them, and 
supplied them liberally with provisions. In 
this instance they so far waived their usual 
jealousy, that they furnished Captain Eyres 
with a horse, and allowed him to take a short 
ride along the hills. 

At half-past three p.m., the gale still con- 
tinuing, the Modeste weighed in company 
with the Volage, and picked up a berth fur- 
ther off shore ; for had we remained where 
we were, and parted in the night, we should 
have shared the fate of our poor pinnace, 
whose cable being cut through by the rocks. 


went on shore, and was literally split in 

On the morning of the 22nd, the gale 
having subsided, we stood in shore to pick 
up Captain Eyres and the men, anchoring 
rather outside the berth we quitted yes- 

Captain Eyres, by threatening the man- 
darins with a complaint to the viceroy, had 
prevailed upon them to promise they would 
send the cattle off; and the junks were 
already coming out with them on board. 
After breakfast I visited the wreck of the 
pinnace to see what could be saved ; and 
having set the carpenters to work, amused 
myself with the natives, who began to assem- 
ble in great number, and by their curiosity, 
impeded them materially. However, getting 
my telescope from the boat, I formed a centre 
of attraction, round which they swarmed in 
crowds, and thereby afforded me almost as 
much amusement as my glass did the Chinese; 
for moving from one place to the other, which 
I could do amongst the rocks much faster than 
they in their thick shoes could, the whole 


crowd would follow me, the young, the old, and 
the lame, for the sake of a peep; it was quite 
immaterial to the greater number, whether 
the glass was pointed at the clouds or at the 
shipping. That they could have the pleasure 
of looking through it was sufficient gratifi- 
cation. Getting tired of the crowd, I lent 
the glass to one of the most respectable 
looking of them, explaining to him how to 
adjust the focus ; and he continued to amuse 
all those who pressed round him, and left us to 
pursue our work without further interruption. 
My telescope had made me a universal 
favourite; and on returning to the boat, I 
found some old gentlemen had resolved to 
evince their good will by an impromptu meal. 
Having so lately breakfasted, I was not pre- 
pared to do justice to it, which I expressed 
to them by the most civil and expressive 
signs I could think of; at which my hos- 
pitable entertainers appeared to be much dis- 
tressed. The dishes looked savoury and 
tempting, being served up in clean wooden 
trays and Chinese basins. Tt was evidently 
a quickly got up dejeune, and might have 


served for a dozen people. There were fowls 
split open and grilled, being browned with a 
good deal of art; others, again, stewed; 
another dish contained fowls' livers floating 
in oil, and which was especially brought to 
my notice. There were eggs with their em- 
bryo chickens, variously prepared ; and a 
stew, which, for aught I know, might have 
been young puppies, consisted of very white 
and delicate-looking meat. Without doubt 
their puppies are very good, for they are 
exceedingly particular in the breed, which 
they rear for their tables, selecting only those 
that are white, and fattening them with 
meal as carefully as we do any of our 
domestic animals. 

Poultry, vegetables, and fruit were brought 
for sale to the beach in great abundance, and 
were both cheap and good. A small un- 
leavened cake appeared very common ; they 
were about two inches in diameter, perfectly 
white, with a pink coloured stamp consisting 
of Chinese characters on the top. We found 
them a very good substitute for bread. 

Having collected all that could be saved 


of our once fine boat, I took leave of my 
hospitable entertainers, and shoved off. Just 
then an unhappy duck that had been purchased 
popped his head up above the gunwale of the 
boat, at which a Chinaman made a snatch, 
and caught it by the neck,; but as the drake 
was securely tied to his mate, he could not 
get it out of the boat, and a shake of a 
boat-hook, with a look from the bowman, 
made Fokie quickly drop his expected prize, 
— the whole crowd, though about ten yards 
off, shrinking back at the mere threatening 
attitude of the seaman. But in common 
justice, I must add, this was the.only attempt 
at theft which I saw on this part of the coast. 
In the afternoon the junks were very busy 
bringing off the bullocks ; and the wind fall- 
ing almost to a calm, boats were dispatched 
from the shore to tow them out to us. These 
were evidently pressed for the purpose ; sol- 
diers and mandarins were seen compelling 
the crews to work. It was astonishing to 
observe the rate at which these boats towed 
the large junks, when it was seen that they 
had only a single scull over the stern. In 

VOL. I. N 


one of the largest of them I counted eight 
men, working a long straight oar. The 
system of sculling, which is practised univer- 
sally in China, is a great improvement on the 
common English method of doing so. The 
fulcrum being a short iron pin, with a small 
round head, which fits into a hollow on the 
oar, thus making a ball and socket, by which 
means they reduce the friction to the least 
possible quantity. I have seen two and 
three sculls to the same boat, one on each 
quarter, and the other over the stern. 

Our method of hoisting in the bullocks 
afforded the Chinese boatmen much amuse- 
ment. It was simply a rope round the neck, 
with one of the fore legs passed under it. 
This prevents the rope from jamming suffi- 
ciently tight to strangle the animal, which 
is drawn up, and may be landed on the deck 
■without a struggle. It is by far the best 
method I have seen for hoisting cattle into 
a ship. 

We had been supplied at this place with 
one hundred and fifty bullocks, twenty sheep, 
many dozens of poultry, with flour, &c. The 


bullocks were embarked solely for the use of 
the troops at Chusan, where they proved a 
most seasonable supply. 

Paoupang had been on board the trans- 
port collecting different articles, which he 
intended as presents for the mandarins. 
From one of the transports he purchased a 
telescope. Captain Eyres gave him several 
tumblers and wine glasses, — all glass ware 
being highly prized by the Chinese. You 
cannot make them a present they more 
highly value. A uniform sword, which he 
was most anxious to obtain for the head 
mandarin, we could not spare him. He sug- 
gested to Captain Elliot, that the mandarins 
would be much pleased by our chin-chining 
them ; and as they had really been very civil 
in all our intercourse with them, the ships 
were accordingly dressed with the flags. But 
this must have had a direct contrary effect 
to that which was intended ; for quickly all 
the boats and junks were ordered on shore 
by the mandarins, and a boat was sent off for 
Paoupang, the compradore ; and when we 
came to consider it, we could not be much 

N 2 


surprised at the result, for a great display of 
flags is the way in which the Chinese express 
defiance and martial preparations, so that our 
intended compliment must by them have 
been considered as a threat. No doubt Pa- 
oupang, on landing, explained it to them ; 
but this we had no opportunity of ascertain- 
ing, as we sailed at daylight on the morning 
of the 23rd. Having to visit the Island of 
Quelpert, we parted company with the 
Volage, and made all sail for that island. 

On the morning of the 26th, we made an 
island, S. J E. nine or ten leagues. This 
was high land, with a flat, circular top, and 
was not laid down in any charts on board. 
"We christened it " Strange Island," when 
it bore by compass, E.N.E. ten miles ; the 
latitude was 34° 42' N. longitude 125° 7' E. 
At noon we saw Alceste Island, S. by E., 
having a high, cone-like appearance ; but we 
did not pass sufficiently near to distinguish 
if it was cultivated. 

At 10 P.M., hauled to the wind for day- 
light. On the 27th, at 4, we bore up, and 
made sail. As the day broke, Quelpert ap- 


peared close to us in the N.W. This island 
is large, and from a few miles inland gra- 
dually rises, until it terminates in a very- 
lofty cone. The cultivation appears carried 
on in the Chinese system ; but we have had so 
little intercourse with the natives, that we 
know nothing certain of their origin. On a 
small island on the south-east side, there 
were numerous cattle feeding ; and having 
ascertained this, which was the occasion of 
our visit, we shaped a course for Chusan, 
flying along at about ten knots per hour. 

On the 28th we rejoined the Volage and 
transports off Mouse Island, and on the 
30th anchored in our old berth under the 
Elephant's Trunk. 

On the 1st of October, her majesty's brig 
Cruizer sailed for India vici Macao, to carry 
the mail ; thus affording us all a welcome 
opportunity for writing to our friends in dear 
England ; a pleasure we had been debarred 
from for some months. At half-past ten we 
weighed to join the flag-ship at her anchor- 
age at " Spithead j" but as we came in sight 
of the flag, the signal was made to close the 


Blenheim, then anchored off " St. Helens," 
in company with which ship we were to pro- 
ceed off Ning-po, there to demand the re- 
lease of Mrs. Noble, the widow of the late 
master of the Kite ; of Captain Anstruther, 
who had been kidnapped near Ting-hai on 
the 16th of September; and of Lieutenant 
Douglas, R.N., with the marines and crew of 
the late armed transport Kite. 

In a former part of this Narrative, I alluded 
to the Kite as accompanying her majesty's 
ship Conway on a survey up the Yang-tse- 
kiang, then about to be commenced under 
the directions of Captain C. R. D. Bethune. 
The Kite was a vessel of about three hundred 
tons, fitted with two of the Wellesley's quar- 
ter-deck guns, having in addition to her 
lascar crew, six marines, with the same num- 
ber of first-class boys. Lieutenant Douglas 
was placed in charge of her ; and her master, 
Mr. Noble, received an acting order as a 
second master in her majesty's navy. 

On the 10th of September, Captain Be- 
thune thought it requisite to dispatch her to 
Chusan ; and having cleared the sands at 


the entrance of the river, it was considered 
by all on board that their future passage was 
free from danger. How futile were their 
calculations! for on the 15th, when running 
with a fair breeze, the vessel struck on a 
quicksand*, and almost as instantly went over 
on her broadside, with a most tremendous 
crash, precipitating all hands into the sea, 
and Mrs. Noble amongst the number ; but 
her poor little infant being unfortunately in 
the cabin, was drowned, and Mr. Noble is 
supposed to have shared the same fate in an 
attempt to save his child, for he was never 
seen after the striking of the vessel. 

As she thus lay with her masts and yards 
in the water, the crew on rising to the sur- 
face after their immersion, were enabled to 
get hold of them, and by their means climb 
up to the side of the vessel. Lieutenant 
Douglas, the chief mate, Mrs. Noble, and 
two boys, succeeded in getting into the boat, 
which they were obliged to cut clear of the 
wreck, the sea making a breach over them, 
and threatening them with momentary de- 
struction. No sooner was she free, than the 

* This shoal is not laid down on any of the charts. 


current set her quickly from the wreck ; and 
with their greatest exertions^ having only 
two oarS;, they could not prevent it, but were 
soon swept out of sight of it ; when letting 
go the boat's anchor, they brought up to 
await the change of tide, with a hope of being 
able to render some assistance to the poor 
fellows left behind. 

Again were their efforts vain, and as they 
drifted at some distance past her, the whole 
hull appeared to have settled in the sand, the 
main-top alone appearing above the water. 
Early on the morning of the 16th, they were 
again driven in the direction of the wreck, 
but with as little means of communication as 
before ; and on the return tide in the after- 
noon they passed it for the last time, as on 
the morning of the 17th not a vestige of 
the wreck could be seen ; and it was evident 
that the poor fellows had been taken off the 
wreck by the Chinese, or swept by the over- 
whelming waters into eternity. 

Thus had these five unhappy beings, one a 
helpless female, been for more than two days 
without sustenance, — knowing that they were 


close to the shore of a cruel enemy's coast, 
without a sail, with only two oars, (one of 
which was washed away this very night,) to 
navigate their frail bark, driven backwards 
and forwards at the mercy of the tides, 
expecting every instant to be overwhelmed 
by the breakers around them ! But aid was 
near when hope seemed to have deserted 
them. He, who is ever watching over his 
creatures, and who is ever able to save and 
deliver those who seek him, as to his myste- 
rious mercy may seem fit, w^as at that mo- 
ment sending them assistance : a Chinese 
fishing-boat approached, and the good Sama- 
ritans on board of it shared with them what 
they had ; true, it was only dry rice and 
water, but it was given with a willing heart 
and free hand. A piece of old matting was 
also added for the purpose of making a sail. 

They were now comparatively comfortable, 
hoping to get to Chusan in the evening. 
A pumpkin floating by, — probably one from 
their unfortunate ship, — was shared amongst 
the party. On the 18th, they fell in with 
another boat, and requested to be taken to 

N 3 

274 MRS. NOBLE. 

Chusan, for doing which they should be 
liberally rewarded. They promised accord- 
ingly, but instead of doing so towed their boat 
into a canal, where the inhabitants on the 
adjoining shore treated them with kindness 
and gave them some boiled rice, at the same 
time promising soon to convey them where 
they desired to go to. Instead of which they 
betrayed them to a mandarin and a party of 

Where shall I find language sufficiently 
strong to execrate the beings that inflicted 
the followino: cruelties on wrecked and starv- 
ing fellow-creatures. No sooner had they 
been seized, than to prevent their running" 
away, they were bastinadoed immediately 
above the knee, or almost indeed upon it. 
They would have treated Mrs. Noble in the 
same brutal and still more indecent manner 
had it not been for the spirited conduct of 
Mr. Douglas, notwithstanding which she 
received several blows. Chains were then 
put around their necks, and they were bur- 
ned, or rather dragged to a large city, 
through the streets of which they were 


paraded, subjected to the hootings and bowl- 
ings of tbe assembled savages. They were 
then taken to a joss-house, where one of the 
soldiers forcibly wrenched Mrs. Noble's 
wedding-ring from her finger. Lieutenant 
Douo-las's hands were here lashed behind 
him, and he was in that condition secured to 
a post. Mrs. Noble, the mate, and one boy, 
were then dragged on about twenty miles 
further, being exhibited in several towns 
through which they passed ; and no doubt 
from what afterwards appeared, Mrs. Noble 
was represented as sister to the queen of the 
barbarians, who had been taken prisoner by 
these marauders, for valiant soldiers Icanuot 
call them. 

At night they stopped at another depot of 
gods, where they were furnished with a 
small quantity of food and clothes; the chain 
which had been put round their necks being 
fastened to the wall of their prison. Here 
they were detained two days, and were 
allowed to perform their ablutions for the 
first time ; their descriptions were accurately 
taken down, and they themselves constantly 


exposed to the gaze of the rabble. Mrs. 
Noble was taken to be looked at by the 
head mandarin's wife and daughter; and one 
would have imagined that the softer sex 
would have shown her some compassion in 
her suffering and distressed state. No! if 
it were possible, they treated her with more 
contumely than her captors had done. 

At the expiration of the two days they 
were led out into the court where stood 
three cages about three feet high, two feet 
six inches long, by fourteen inches in breadth. 
The entrance to these cruel prisons was by 
a trap-door on the top, through which they 
were forced, the end of their chain being 
locked to the cover. A bamboo was then 
thrust between the bars, and under the top ; 
in this painful position were they carried by 
two men from town to town, to be exhibited, 
like wild beasts, to the assembled multi- 
tudes; but as if all this was not sufficient 
suffering, they were loaded with heavy irons 
and chains on the legs and arms, Mrs. Noble 
being allowed for the present to dispense 
with the latter ones. The cages were then 










at length placed in boats, and after proceed- 
ing along a canal for three nights and two 
days, they arrived at Ning-po, never having 
been permitted to quit their cages for any 
purpose during that period. 

Lieutenant Douglas and the other boy had 
been conveyed in a similar manner, but by a 
different route, thus affording the inhabitants 
of a greater extent of country a peep at the 
barbarians. The crew, as it was hoped might 
be the case, had been taken off the wreck by 
some Chinese boats, and were also prisoners 
at this place, Ning-po. Several of these poor 
fellows died during their imprisonment, from 
the hardships they had to endure. 

After their arrival at Ning-po, Mrs. Noble 
was supplied with gay Chinese female ap- 
parel; a small and very dirty room was 
appropriated to her, but devoid of furniture 
with the exception of her cage, which be- 
came her bed at night, and her carriage by 
day, for into it she was always thrust, which 
was the case with the whole party, when 
commanded to dine with the mandarins, 
which at first was frequently the case until 


their curiosity became satiated, M^lien both 
the officers and lady were left more to them- 
selves. The questions that the mandarins 
would ask on these occasions were most 
ridiculous. They were very anxious to know 
what relations they were to the Queen of 
Eno-land, and if Mrs. Noble was not her 
sister; and would believe nothing to the con- 
trary. Their irons were still kept on, and it 
was not until the 25th of October they were 
released from them. 

The seamen and marines were most cruelly 
used, being always kept in heavy irons, 
allowed no exercise, but confined in a dark 
dirty prison, with hardly space to turn in. 
The poor fellows who paid the debt of 
nature in this horrible hole, were, though 
wasted to skeletons, kept in their irons even 
to their last moments, — notwithstanding the 
strong remonstrances of Lieutenant Douglas, 
who was debarred from seeing his men, when 
it was found what a deep interest he took in 
everything that concerned them. 

It had been arranged by their friends at 
Ting-hai, with some of the lower mandarins 


at Ning-po, that for a certain sum of money 
the oflScers should be allowed to escape, — in 
fact, safely landed at Chusan ; but this they 
positively refused to accede to, unless their 
men were to accompany them ; well know- 
ing that their escape would be visited on 
those left behind. A secret correspondence 
was carried on with the head-quarters at 
Chusan, until the 22nd of February, 1841 j 
when, agreeably with the treaty concluded at 
Canton between Captain Elliot and Keshen, 
they were summoned before the mandarins, 
and informed that they were immediately 
to be sent to Chin-hai, and from thence to 
Chusan. Their congratulations to one ano- 
ther were unbounded at the prospect of a 
release after a captivity of five months and 
some few days. 

Chairs were now provided for them, and 
they were conveyed to the entrance of the 
Ning-po river, where they were received 
courteously by the mandarins, and intrusted 
with a message from Commissioner Elepoo 
to the commanding officer at Chusan, that he 
must get the ships away as speedily as pos- 


sible, as they had great numbers of troops 
ready to take possession on their quitting. 

Captain P. Anstruther, before alluded to 
as one of the prisoners at Ning-po, had been 
in the practice of walking about the country 
in the neighbourhood of Ting-hai, for the 
purpose of sketching and surveying, and was 
apparently much liked by the inhabitants, 
who frequently gathered round him, while 
he, by signs and by laughing, would hold a 
merry intercourse with them. 

On the 16th of September he left the 
camp in the early part of the forenoon, ac- 
companied by an old lascar servant, who 
carried a spade for the purpose of erecting 
flag-staves on the hills, to assist in taking 
angles for his survey. Having ascended a 
pass between the hills to the westward of 
the city, he placed a flag on a knoll, taking- 
several angles from thence ; after which he 
continued to walk down the western side of 
the pass ; but soon > perceived that he had 
gone too far for his safety, and that he and his 
servant were followed by a number of armed 
Chinese. Taking no apparent notice of 


them, he turned to the left with an intention 
of ascending the hill, — but he had scarcely 
attempted to do so, when his old lascar 
was furiously attacked by a Chinese soldier, 
armed with a hoe. The poor old man ran to 
his master for assistance, who, seizing the 
spade from his hand, quickly drove the 
assailant back, when the whole body made 
a charge with formidable double-pronged 
spears. There was now nothing left but to 
run for it; Captain Anstruther bidding the old 
lascar to make the best of his way up the 
hill, hoping by that means to save the poor 
fellow's life ; but he would not hear of quit- 
ting his master. 

Their pursuers closing round them, Capt. 
Anstruther saw that his only chance now was 
to fight his way through a long valley which 
led to the city. He therefore proceeded 
slowly through it, now and then turning to 
keep his pursuers in check. By the beating 
of gongs and the shouting of his assailants 
all the inhabitants of the valley became 
aroused, and a strong party being thus assem- 
bled at a gorge, escape became almost hope- 


less. At a turn in the path, Captain A. 
found it necessary to charge a party assem- 
bled there with sticks and stones, in doing 
which he was separated from his poor old ser- 
vant, who was quickly knocked down. His 
master, though surrounded by numbers, used 
every effort to fight his way to his assistance, 
but in vain ; and he had the pain of seeing 
the villains pounding the poor old man's 
head with large stones, which must have 
shortly ended his life*. 

Flight now became utterly impossible ; and 
Captain Anstruther, who expected a similar 
fate to that which had befallen his servant, 
attacked, and determined to make the 
rascals pay dearly for his life. Numbers of 
course prevailed, and he was at length 
stretched on the ground by a heavy blow on 
the head, when the villains rushing on him, 
bound his hands behind him and his ankles 
together, thrusting a large gag into his 
mouth; when they commenced bambooing 

* Captain Anstruther, who is as generous as he is 
brave, has sent to school and pensioned the sons of this 
faithful old man. 


him over the knee caps; thus effectually, if 
the ropes had not previously done it, pre- 
venting him from running away. He was 
then put in a chair and carried to a village 
about ten miles from the Sapper's Point, 
where he was detained until dusk; his tor- 
mentors constantly repeating the word Ning- 
po, and making signs that he would have his 
head cut off when he got there*. 

The following day he was landed at that 
city, and being carried before the district 
magistrates, was questioned as to the number 
of men, ships, &c., at Chusan. After this, 
having heavy irons put on his legs, he was 
sent to the prison^ where, as soon as he arrived, 
an iron ring was secured round his neck, 
hand-cuffs were put on him, locked to the 
end of a stick about a foot long, which was 
again fastened to the ring round his neck. 

* It is a singular coincidence, that the night but one 
prior to his capture, Captain Anstruther had aroused 
the whole artillery camp with his cries, when, on pro- 
ceeding to his quarters, he was found fast asleep, and on. 
being awakened, said he had been dreaming that the 
Chinese were carrying him off, tied hands and feet, on a 
pole, and gagged, and within sight of the camp. 


He was then forced to get into a wooden 
cage, the height and length of which to the 
outer part of the bars was one yard each way, 
the breadth being: two feet. When he was in 
the cage, a chain was fastened from the side 
of it to the irons on his legs, and for further 
security at nighty the goaler with a light 
always slept close by his cage ; and thus was 
he kept for upwards of four weeks. 

The day after his arrival he was again taken 
before the magistrate, and questioned much 
about the steamers, the captured compradore 
being the interpreter. Captain Anstruther 
offered to draw them a representation of one, 
with which his examiner was so much pleased, 
that he gave him and the compradore a din- 
ner ; and he was also furnished with hot 
water, and allowed to wash the blood and 
dirt off his person. 

Captain Anstruther, by his skill in draw- 
ing, so far gained the hearts of the manda- 
rins, that he was soon allowed a new cage, 
actually three feet six inches by tivo feet one 
inch. This was comparative comfort. 

After his powers as an artist had been dis- 

j4n excellent autlst. 285 

covered, he was constantly requested to 
employ his talents to depict every variety of 
article or animal which was foreign to them ; 
and many of his sketches are supposed to 
have met the imperial eye. 

It is to be hopedj that this talented officer 
will gratify the vvorkl by an account of what 
he has witnessed in China. I know no per- 
son more equal to the task. 

During the month of September, two 
young gentlemen of the Blenheim, Mr. W. 
Bencraft and Mr, Prattent, had a most 
narrow escape from sharing the fate of 
Captain Anstruther. Their adventure shows 
so much coolness and presence of mind in 
two youngsters, that it would be the height 
of injustice to them not to give a detailed 
account of their gallant conduct. 

These young gentlemen, the former of 
whom numbered little more than 14 years, 
while the latter had not passed the age of 16, 
feeling that salt junk was alike disagreeable 
to their health and palates, resolved one 
exceedingly hot day to take a ramble to the 
farm of an old Chinaman, about two miles 


from Ting-haij with the view of prevailing on 
him to part with some young goats they had 
seen on his premises in a previous excursion. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon, fur- 
nished with some dollars by the caterer of 
their mess, and armed, Mr. Prattent with a 
double-barrelled fowling-piece, and young 
Bencraft with a thick stick, they commenced 
their trip. On approaching the farm house 
where they had formerly seen the goats, they 
put a heavy charge of slugs into each barrel, 
and providentially so, as it eventually proved. 

The house stood on the slope of a steep 
hill, with thick bamboo groves in front and 
rear of it, the close nature of which pre- 
cluded a direct approach to the buildings. 
The youngsters made their way by a narrow 
lane to a small enclosure at one end of the 
house where the goats were feeding, upon 
which the old farmer came out of doors and 
gave them a friendly welcome. An exchange 
of dollars for the brace of kids was proposed 
for his consideration, but notwithstanding 
the liberality of their offer, he could not be 
induced to part with his stock. 


Desparing of success our young friends 
were about to turn their steps homeward, 
when a sturdy fellow, with large mustachios 
and about five feet ten in height, approached 
the old man. After a conversation with 
whom, the workmen of the farm were called 
in, amounting to about twenty fellows armed 
with rakes and hoes. 

The stranger then walked up to Mr. 
Prattent and offered him the goats for a less 
sum than had been originally refused by the 
old farmer. This proposal was at once 
accepted; and young Bencraft began to 
sling the kids across his back, while his com- 
panion, laying his gun in the hollow of his 
left arm, put his right hand into his pocket 
for his cash. At this moment the stranger 
seized the gun, while one of the labourers 
pinned its owner by the throat against the 
hedge. Instantly Bencraft dropping the 
kids sprung at the man who had possession 
of the gun, and seized it before he had time 
to discharge it. The Chinaman was much 
the strongest, but being anxious to cock the 
gun he had both his hands about the small 


of the piece. This was an opportunity our 
young hero did not let slip; for seizing the 
extremities of the gun, and making a des- 
perate effort, he succeeded in wrenching it 
from the fellow's grasp, striking him at the 
same time a smart blow with the butt on the 
side of the head. The piece being now in 
his possession, it was but the work of a 
moment to discharge one barrel at his power- 
ful adversary, the contents taking effect on 
the fellow's head who instantly fell. 

The villain, with whom Prattent was strug- 
gling and whom he had blindfolded by push- 
ing his hat over his eyes, on hearing the 
report of the gun, suddenly let go his hold and 
turned round, while the rest of the Chinese 
began to close in, fearing no farther harm 
from what they now regarded as an inoffensive 
weapon. At the same moment Prattent 
.sprung forward, and snatching the gun from 
his companion, although he had not time to 
bring it to his shoulder,, succeeded in lodging 
the contents of the loaded barrel in the 
stomach of the fellow with whom he had 
been struggling just before; upon wliicli he 

RESCUE. 289 

Tliis brought the remainder of the Chinese 
to a stand ; for seeing the gun go off twice in 
so short a time, they probably supposed that 
it might do so again and again. Prattent 
perceiving this made no attempt to reload, 
which would have betrayed the real state of 
the case, but bringing the empty piece to his 
shoulder, he pointed it at every one that 
attempted to move. Our young mids re- 
mained in this critical situation for about ten 
minutes; when they were rescued by a small 
party of the 18th Royal Irish, who provi- 
dentially had been digging sweet potatoes on 
the brow of the neighbouring hill, whence 
they were attracted to the spot by the report 
of the gun. 

The Chinese were thus happily dis- 
appointed of their prey ; while our gallant 
young friends walked off with their kids, 
and, returning on board with their game, 
modestly kept the adventure to themselves. 
The soldiers, however, sounded their fame 
abroad: so much so, that the circumstance 
in about a week came to the knowledge of 
Sir Gordon Bremer, who directed their Cap- 

VOL. I. 


tain, Sir Le Fleming Senhouse, to express to 
them his high approbation of the gallant and 
cool manner in which they had behafed. 

I cannot help observing that such decisive 
and spirited conduct in a couple of boys 
affords a good illustration in proof, that the 
rising generation in our navy has lost none 
of the determined courage of the olden time. 
We need not despair of every due support for 
the honour of our flag, while we feel per- 
suaded that many similar spirits may be found 
among our naval and military youths. May 
we not with the greatest propriety adopt the 
words, which the author of the jEneid, has 
put into the mouth of one of his characters, 
and say — 

Dii patrii, quorum semper sub nomine Troja est, 
Non tamen omnino Teucros delere paratis, 
Cum tales animos juvenum et tam certa tulistis 
Pectora ! 



Proceed to Ning-po — Captain Elliot applies for release 
of Prisoners — Their better Treatment — Chinese 
Cavalry — Return to " Spithead" — Yang-tse-kiang 
— Cruise of the Conway — Death of Mr. Harvey — 
Algerine at Chapoo — Bravery of Mandarin — Loss of 
Indian Oak — Nimrod's Cruise — Loo-choo — Manners 
of its Inhabitants — Seaman's Grave — Quelpert — 
Sickness amongst our Troops — Chusan — Ting-hai — 
Taoutow and Joss-house hill — Position of Troops — 
Robberies — Chinese Coffin — Debasing of Coin — 
Temples — Arsenals — Arras — The Six Boards — 
Burning the Archives. 

Darkly of old through distant nations famed : 

One eastward curving holds his crooked way, 

One to the west gives his swoll'n tide to stray ; 

Declining southward many a land they lave, 

And widely swelling roll the sea-like wave, 

Till the twin offspring of the mountain sire 

Both in the deep engulphed expire. — The Lusiad. 

On the 2nd of October, 1840, the Blen- 
heim and Modeste weighed from their an- 
chorage at " St. Helens," for the purpose of 
proceeding to Ning-po. On clearing Bell 

o 2 


Island, these ships were joined by the Volage 
and Alligator, and we anchored about 3* 
30' P.M., within four miles of the entrance of 
the Ta-hea river ; the blockade of which had 
been comparatively easy to our vessels, as 
the Chinese had sunk vessels filled with 
stones, and thereby blocked up the entrance 
of it. Chin-hai is a large-walled town at 
the entrance of this river, a branch of which 
appeared to run through it. Numerous 
masts of war and merchant-junks were seen 
over the wall, — the former easily distinguished 
by their banners and flags, — behind which rose 
a high and apparently inaccessible hill, with 
a joss-house and fort on its summit ; the 
hills to the left were covered with encamp- 
ments of troops. On the whole, it may be 
said that the scenery about Ning-po formed 
the prettiest landscape we had seen in 

On the 3rd, ('aptain Elliot arrived in the 
Atalanta steamer, and had an interview with 
the authorities to negotiate the release of 
Mrs. Noble and the prisoners ; but his appli- 
cation was evaded by their stating that their 


capture liad already been reported at Pekin, 
and therefore they could not be released 
without orders from the court. They how- 
ever promised that they should receive good 
treatment, and gave permission that their 
clothes should be sent to them : at the same 
time they allowed them to communicate with 
their friends by letters written in Chinese ; 
and it was hoped a truce would soon be 
established with the Ning-po authorities. A 
body of about two hundred cavalry attended 
the high officers to the beach: they were 
the first that we had seen in China. The 
horses were strong, but small; the men 
armed with bows and arrows, with handsome 
appointments ; upon the whole, they formed 
a very respectable appearance. The saddle 
is clumsy, and the rider, using a very short 
stirrup, has rather a huntsman's than a sol- 
dier's seat. 

It had blown hard all night from the north- 
east; we had driven considerably, and the 
ships had all been labouring much, this 
anchorage being completely open to the 
north and north-east winds. At noon the 


squadron weighed per signal, and stood up 
to a small island called "Just in the Way." 
This island is about mid-way between Chusan 
and Ning-po roads, and affords a safe and 
sheltered anchorage, from which the signals 
shown on board the flag-ship could be easily 
made out. 

Some days were passed at this spot, the 
weather being fine, with moderate northerly 
and north-easterly winds, admitting of the 
usual routine of the ship going on without 
interruption ; but we were getting very tired 
of it, and were not at all sorry, when, on the 
9th, the recall for the Modeste was seen flying 
on board the flag-ship. We therefore quickly 
proceeded to join the admiral at " Spithead." 
The Melville during our absence had been 
hove down, and was rapidly preparing for 
sea in the inner harbour. The Conway had 
also returned with her squadron from the 
Yang-tse-kiang, and theNirarod had arrived 
from Loo-choo, where she had been to bring 
off the crew of the Royal Oak transport, 
which vessel had been wrecked there on her 
passage from Chusan to India. Before pro- 


ceeding with the narrative, it may be well to 
give a short sketch of the proceedings of 
those two ships. 

The Yang-tse-kiang,or Child of the Ocean, 
is one of the most extensive rivers in the 
world, second only to the Mississippi and 
Amazon. It takes its rise in Thibet, and 
ere reaching the sea, passes over an extent 
of 2,700 miles of country in its circuitous 
route^ relieving the Lakes Tong-ting and 
Poyang, of their superfluous waters. When 
passing Nan-kin, it runs with a continued 
ebb, and with such force^ as to require a 
strong breeze to sail against it- In its down- 
ward course numerous islands are formed, 
which are constantly increasing from the 
quantity of soil suspended in its waters* 

The Conway had been employed in sur- 
veying the mouths of this mighty river, and 
her indefatigable captain succeeded in dis- 
covering a passage by which line-of-battle 
ships might be conducted through the sands 
which guard its entrance. The Conway did 
not proceed above sixty miles up, and even 
then the ebb was found to run eight hours. 


and the flood at neap tides was scarcely per- 
ceptible. The appearance of the ship created 
a great sensation ; and the natives were 
apparently busy throwing up fortifications, 
which, being examined with the telescope, 
proved nothing but mats extended on poles, 
with painted ports to give them the appear- 
ance of forts; these poor ignorant people 
not having the least idea that the real charac- 
ter of their mock defences could be so easily 

During the time the dispute was going on 
between the late Lord Napier and the 
Chinese authorities, our countrymen at Can- 
ton were one morning astonished at seeing 
the shore apparently bristling with a hundred 
cannon ; but on examining them with the 
glasses, they had put up in the front of a 
mat-fort a range of earthen jars, with the 
open end pointed towards the river. We 
found that it was a common practice to stick 
a large round piece of wood into the muzzle 
of a three-pounder, painted white with a 
black spot as large as the bore of a thirty- 
two pounder, and as the white muzzle was 


continued along the line of guns it became 
very difficult by merely looking at them to 
discover the deception. 

The Island of Tsung-ming at the entrance, 
lies nearly east and west, and divides the 
mouth of the river. It is long and low, 
evidently the formation of deposits from the 
river, its alluvial soil being very productive. 
It is densely populated and highly cultivated, 
having on it an abundance of cattle. 

On the 25th of September, three boats 
from the Conway and Algerine were sent to 
this island for the purpose of purchasing 
fresh provisions and vegetables for the sick 
on board, of whom there were very many ; 
and the whole crew were suffering much 
from having been several months on salt 
provisions. The officer in command of the 
boats was directed, if the natives should 
refuse to sell them such necessary articles, 
to send out foraging parties to procure 

On landing they were divided into three 
detachments, each being in charge of a com- 
missioned officer. As they advanced, the 



peasantry fled before them, carrying oiF then- 
women and children ; but on friendly signs 
being made to them they were soon induced 
to return to their houses. Finding no bullocks 
were to be obtained in the neighbourhood, 
Lieutenant Coryton advanced with his party 
in the hope of collecting some poultry. On an 
armed body of Chinese approaching them with 
evidently hostile intentions, the marines were 
ordered to fire^ and one of the enemy was 
seen to drop, when his companions quickly 
dispersed, hiding themselves in the deep 
dykes with which this island is intersected. 

Lieutenant Coryton's party meeting no 
further opposition, collected a considerable 
quantity of stock, with which they returned 
to the boats^ when, having deposited them, a 
native informed them by signs that some buf- 
faloes might be procured at a clump of large 
trees in the distance ; in which direction, 
accompanied by their apparently kind friend, 
the party proceeded. Having advanced a 
short way their guide suddenly stopped, point- 
ing to a large junk shored up on her side, 
with her keel turned towards them, and indi- 


cated by signs that soldiers were behind it, 
after which he made his escape. 

They had selected a remarkably strong 
position for their novel field-work, having 
placed it in a paddy-field with a broad ditch, 
knee deep in mud between them and Lieu- 
tenant Coryton's party, a long narrow pass 
leading to their front without furnishing a 
particle of cover to an attacking force ; while 
a second junk flanked the causeway. Nothing 
daunted, the gallant little band advanced to 
the nullah, or ditch, and opened a heavy fire of 
musketry on the junk, hoping by that means 
to dislodge the party behind it; but it prov- 
ing to be bullet-proof, the assailants received 
a smart fire in return from those entrenched. 
Lieutenant Coryton gave the order to charge, 
when at that instant Mr. Harvey fell, ex- 
claiming that he was wounded in the stomach. 
This caused a slight delay while that gentle- 
man was being sent to the rear. 

A Chinaman now advanced to the front of 
the junk, and covering the marine officer with 
his matchlock attempted to fire, which this 
officer no sooner perceived than he prepared 


to return the compliment ; but, strange as 
it may seem, after two or three attempts, 
neither of the pieces would go off; when 
the order to charge being repeated, the party 
dashed through the nullah, and quickly car- 
ried the position, the flying enemy leaving 
two of their party dead upon the field. The 
parties were now united, but the Chinese 
shewed no inclination to renew the fight. 
The Conway had one man killed and Mr. 
Harvey mortally wounded, who expired on 
board his ship on Sunday, the 27th of Sep- 
tember, much regretted by all his shipmates, 
by whom he was highly and deservedly 

The Algerine, a few days afterwards, 
while examining the deep bay of Hang- 
tchou, stood into the harbour of Chapoo, 
the emporium of the Japanese trade, from 
the batteries of which a fire was imme- 
diately opened on the little brig. Lieutenant 
Mason gallantly placed his vessel alongside 
of them, and after a cannonade of three 
hours, effectually silenced them, remaining at 
his anchorage for an hour to see if they were 


inclined to renew the engagement, which the 
Chinese not doing, he got under weigh, and 
rejoined his squadron. 

During the whole of the engagement the 
mandarin in charge of the forts paraded the 
walls, making gestures of defiance at the 
brig, and encouraging his men, while the 
shot were falling round him in every direc- 
tion. This was one of the individual cases 
of courage sometimes met with amongst the 

Her Majesty's ship Nimrod, Commander 
Barlow, which ship had arrived at Chusan 
from England shortly after the admiral had 
sailed from that harbour for the Imperial 
Sea, was dispatched on the 5th of September, 
in company with her majesty's brig Cruizer, 
to the Loo-choo Islands, in consequence of 
a mate of the Indian Oak transport having 
arrived in that ship's long boat, and an- 
nounced her wreck on those islands. He 
reported that they had been most humanely 
treated by those kind-hearted islanders, who 
met them on the shore, carried them to a 
house, and saved every particle of the wreck 


which came on shore, not appropriating so 
much as a nail to their own use without 
permission. Here is a lesson for some of 
our own countrymen, who may learn from 
these poor unenlightened islanders the duties 
of good Samaritans. 

On the 1 5th of September, the ships made 
the Islands of Turina and Auckrina, the 
former of which has a most remarkable 
appearance, much like the Giant's Causeway, 
on the coast of Ireland. Light winds with a 
strong current against them, compelled the 
ships to anchor; nor were they enabled to 
get into "Barnpool," off the town of Napa- 
kiang, until the following day, of which 
Lieutenant Kendall, to whom I am Indebted 
for these remarks, observes, that though the 
scenery in '' Barnpool " was more beautiful, 
and the land more highly cultivated, than he 
had observed in any part of China, it certainly 
did not equal in appearance its namesake 
near Plymouth. 

Shortly after the vessels were anchored 
they were visited by numerous natives, who 
brought off water and provisions in great 


abundance, for which they refused to receive 
the slightest remuneration. " It was," ob- 
serves Lieutenant Kendall, '* the only 
place I ever visited, where such a custom 

The crew of the late Royal Oak were most 
kindly treated, and amply provided with 
every necessary by these w^arm-hearted people. 
The natives had nearly completed a junk of 
about 150 tons burden, which they were 
purposely building out of the remains of the 
ship, that they might return as much as they 
possibly could of the Indian Oak to Queen 
Victoria. It being found that the junk 
would carry all the party, the Cruizer was 
sent back with the intelligence to Chusan. 

Notwithstanding all their kindness, there 
was a degree of innate jealousy about them 
that could not be overcome. The house in 
which the castaways had been lodged was 
inclosed by a fence, outside of which they 
were not allowed to move ; nor would they 
permit Captain Barlow or any of his officers 
to advance a step off the beach. 

On one occasion, after the officers had 


been bathing, they were shown the tomb of 
one of the late seamen of the Alceste, who 
had died during the visit of that ship to 
these islands, at the time she conveyed Lord 
Amherst to China. 

The tomb was situated in a very picturesque 
grove of fir trees, near a temple surrounded by 
mausolea of the natives. These kind beings 
preserved the spot perfectly free from weeds, 
and had planted flowers around the grave, 
keeping it in the highest order ; but nothing 
could prevail upon them to allow any of the 
party to go beyond this spot : to prevent 
which unarmed parties of ten and twelve 
were stationed in different places ; so that if 
the young gentlemen succeeded in evading 
one party of watchers, their anticipations of 
a ramble were quickly stopped, by stumbling on 
another. On such occasions, the natives, in 
the most quiet and gentle manner;, would 
take them by the arms, and lead them back, 
laughing all the time at the attempt made 
to elude them. 

The men are low in stature, but well 
formed and handsome, their colour being a 


dark copper, with teeth remarkable for their 
regularity and great whiteness, and having a 
very tranquil black eye, which gave to the 
whole countenance a peculiarly placid and 
intelligent expression. Their dress resem- 
bled that of the Chinese, with the usual 
accompaniment of fan and pipe ; but instead 
of the monkey-like tail, the hair is gathered 
up, and formed into a handsome knot at the 
crown of the head, and secured by two long 
kinds of bodkins, one of which was usually 
ornamented at the top with the imitation of 
a flower. The chiefs were distinguished by 
these bodkins being of silver, while the lower 
orders had them of brass. 

No women were seen, and all inquiries 
about them were answered by assurances that 
they were all very ugly, — an assertion which 
the beauty of the men certainly disproved. 
They added it was not the custom for them 
to be seen by strangers, at whom they would 
be much frightened, but they always endea- 
voured to turn the subject off. Not a war- 
like weapon of any description was seen 
during the Nimrod's stay. Harmony and 


good-will prevailed throughout this peaceful 
spot, where punishment was unknown ; a 
grave look or a tap of the fan sufficing for 
everything. It is wonderful that they have 
not yet been contaminated. 

During the Nimrod's stay she was supplied 
with every thing that she required ; all pay- 
ment being refused. Captain Barlow pre- 
sented them therefore, in the name of her 
majesty, with a telescope and some books, 
amongst which were Bibles and Testaments. 

The junk being completed, and all the 
stores which had been saved from the wreck 
embarked, the Nimrod, accompanied by the 
Folly, which name the junk now bore, sailed 
on the 27th, on her return for Chusan, much 
to the delight of these happy hospitable 
islanders ; but the Nimrod, owing to the 
bad sailing qualities of her consort, had a 
much longer passage than she expected. For 
a full account of these kind-hearted people, 
I would recommend my readers to Captain 
Basil Hall's very interesting and entertaining 
narrative of them. 

Before quitting the iSlimrod's cruise, I w^ill 


give a short account, though I thereby some- 
what forestall my narrative, of a subsequent 
trip which that ship made to the island of 
Quelpert, for the purpose of procuring bul- 
locks for the troops. She left Chusan on this 
duty, accompanied by the Houghly transport, 
on the 16th of October ; and, after rather a 
boisterous passage, arrived on the 29th, and 
anchored between Cattle and Modeste Island, 
the former of which was covered with herds, 
though no inhabitants could be distinguished. 
At daylight the next morning, the boats were 
dispatched for the purpose of catching cattle, 
being well provided with ropes for that pur- 
pose, and being attended by an armed party 
in case of any attack. 

Lieutenant Kendall thus describes the 
method used for taking the cattle : — " A 
party, fifty strong, was formed in one line 
about ten feet apart ; and ropes, consisting 
of stud-sail haulyards, extended from right 
to left, which the men held as high as 
their breasts, keeping it taught. This line 
reached nearly across the island, by which 
means the herd were driven down to a 


point of land, where they faced their pur- 
suers, bellowing and tearing up the ground 
with their feet. At length, headed by a 
tremendous black bull, they charged the 
centre of the line. The extremities of the 
rope being kept taught, the foremost ones 
fell over it, when a rush was made on them, 
and before they could recover their legs, 
they were firmly tied with spun yarn. In 
this manner from five to six were caught at 
a haul, when having a rope secured round 
the horns, and another to one of their hind 
legs, the lashings were cast off, and they 
were worked down to the boat. It was a 
most amusing employment ; and many a 
tumble and capsize occurred during the day ; 
fortunately no accident happened. We tried 
hard to get our friend the chief, but he 
always escaped. He charged once the place 
where poor Fox* was standing, who broke 
the butt of a musket over his nose, at which 
he shook his head, but continued his career. 

* Lieutenant C. Fox was Senior Lieutenant of the 
Nimrod. He afterwards fell on the heights behind 
Canton, in May, 1841. 


Two or three were knocked down by the 
men of the 18th, who, when these animals 
charged right on them, dexterously hit them 
between the eyes with stones." 

On the opposite shore and main land of 
Quelpert the natives were assembHng in great 
force, numerous tents being pitched. Among 
them was one, the gorgeous colours of which 
pointed it out as belonging to some high 
chieftain ; and with the glasses it was ob- 
served that no one was allowed to stop or 
pass before it, without taking off his hat or 
cap, and bowing. 

These natives kept making signs to the 
Nimrod's people to land, accompanied by 
threatening gesticulations, beating of gongs, 
and blowing of horns, which lasted until about 
eight o'clock, when they all lay down gazing 
on the ships, relieving the tcBdium vitce by 
an occasional shout or blast on their horns. 

Captain Barlow, accompanied by the inter- 
preter, proceeded with the gig and jolly-boat, 
having a flag of truce flying, to communicate 
with the people on shore ; on approaching 
which a boat pulled out and made signs for 


them to land. On this the boats were pulled 
close to and alongside the native chief, who 
then got into the gig ; but on wanting 
him to go on board the Nimrod, he made 
signs that he would get his head cut off, and 
therefore begged to decline the honour in- 
tended him. Several "chops" passed be- 
tween this chief and the interpreter* on the 
object of the visit. The old chief then 
landed, and left the crowd, which was assem- 
bled on the beach, who soon began to show 
and handle their arms ; in consequence of 
which the boats were shoved a little way off 
from, the shore. 

After some slight delay another attempt 
was made to make them understand what was 

* Though the dialect of all the eastern islands and 
the Corea differs from the Chinese, as it even often does 
on the Chinese coast, still the character in writing is the 
same. So that a communication can always be carried 
on if both parties write. With their fans they will often 
describe the character in the air. Mr. Ellis relates, in 
his account of Lord Amherst's embassy, that when some 
mandarins were entertained at his lordship's table, one 
of them, in the heat of conversation, dipped his finger 
in his neighbour's wine-glass, and drew the desired 
character on the table. 

TANKS. 311 

wanted. On which a man, apparently a chief, 
made a dash at the flag of truce, which he 
would have succeeded in carrying off had 
not the bowman hooked him with the boat- 
hook, which caused him to let it go. All 
hope of an amicable communication being at 
an end, the boats returned to their ships. 

During the two days they remained at this 
anchorage, fifty-seven bullocks were captured 
and embarked on board the transport. The 
natives, with numerous boats, and " armed 
to the teeth," made several demonstrations 
of intending to attack the party employed on 
shore ; but having to cross the fire of the 
corvette, on their passage to the island, a 
shot or two from her quickly deterred them 
from their object. 

Many tanks were observed on the island, 
hewed out of the rock ; and as no springs 
could be found, it was surmised that these 
were supplied from the main land. The 
natives stated, that the bullocks were the 
private property of the king, and for that 
reason they could receive no payment for 
them. Their dresses appeared to be of the 


same shape as the Chinese, but their hair was 
worn in a fashion similar to that of the Loo- 
chooans, whose gentle manners they certainly 
did not in any way inherit. 

It coming on to blow very hard, the ships 
were prepared for sea ; but from delays on 
board the transport, they were not enabled 
to quit their anchorage until the next day, 
when the Houghly had to slip her cable, and 
thus the ships succeeded in getting out from 
their very insecure situation. 

During the absence of the Modesto from 
Chusan, great sickness had prevailed amongst 
the troops. Between three and four hundred 
had been interred, and about one thousand 
five hundred were in the hospitals. The gal- 
lant Cameronians were reduced to a perfect 
skeleton, and the brave 47th were scarcely 
in a better condition. 

No doubt this was mainly to be attributed 
to the want of fresh and wholesome pro- 
visions, predisposing the constitution of the 
men to the agues and fevers epidemical in 
this place; for we find the sickness compa- 
ratively mild amongst the officers, who had 


means of living on a more generous diet. 
The season was also said by the natives to be 
a peculiarly unhealthy one, and much sick- 
ness prevailed amongst the Chinese. The 
troops encamped on the hills or high grounds 
suffered the most. It appeared that the 
miasma ascended from the lower ground and 
lodged on these hills, while the air in the 
valley was clear and light. The Madras 
artillery, who were encamped in the centre 
of a paddy-field, lost very few men. Some 
few foraging parties were sent out, but from 
the want of proper interpreters, they must 
have been considered more in the light of 
plunderers, than accredited agents of the 

Much of the inactivity which existed at 
Chusan must be attributed to the sickness 
that prevailed amongst the troops ; for there 
could be no other reason why strong bodies 
of troops were not advanced into the interior 
of the island, by which means most [ample 
supplies might have been obtained, and the 
very excitement of motion would have gone 
far to have checked the sickness, and at once 

VOL. 1. p 


have removed the healthy from contemplating 
the graves and bodies of their dead and dying 

The seasonable supply of cattle which was 
brought by the Pei-Ho squadron was most 
joyfully hailed, and the admiral became 
actively employed in putting things on a 
better footing. Foraging parties from both 
services were now daily sent out, and 
obtained from four to six bullocks per day : 
in one valley in particular they were always 
certain of finding some, the admiral having 
directed that the price asked for them should 
be paid, thereby to encourage the natives to 
put their cattle in our way : which was actually 
the case ; for they feared to sell them to us, 
least they should be informed against and 
punished by the mandarins as soon as the 
British force should quit the island. There- 
fore when foraging parties were seen ap- 
proaching, they always made a fruitless 
attempt to drive their bullocks away; but 
some how or other they never succeeded, 
leaving the valley with dollars instead of 
beasts, from fifteen to twenty being the price 

, CHUSAN. 315 

paid for each bullock, double their value, but 
cheap to us. 

The Island of Chusan* or Chowsan, on 
which the British had a factory in 1700, is a 
miniature likeness of a vast chain of moun- 
tains, small streams flowing from its central 
heights passing between the hills, which 
separate as they approach the sea, forming 
wide and extensive valleys where boundary 
walls and embankments form large alluvial 
plains. That in which the city of Ting-hai 
is situated has an embankment facing the 
sea of full two miles in extent. This exten- 
sive plain continues from three to four miles 
into the gorge of the hills, and is principally 

* Chusan is fifty-one miles and a half in circumfer^ 
ence, twenty-one long, and ten and a half broad, and 
forms part of the Ting-hai-Heen. Heen is the smallest 
division of a province, in which the presiding officer has 
the power of government. In this Heen the whole of 
the Chusan group north and south are included, the 
Kewshan islands being also attached to it. The popula- 
tion of Chusan may be estimated at about 280,000, as, 
from reports in the public offices, it appears to have 
40,000 houses on it, which, at seven inhabitants per 
house, gives the above number; and, as far as I could 
judge, the inmates average about that number. 

P 2 

316 SLUICE. 

under rice cultivation, though cotton, maize, 
beans, bringalls, and many vegetables are 
grown in small patches. Every spot on the 
slope of the hills capable of cultivation is 
covered with yams and sweet potatoes, while 
the more barren parts are used as the last 
resting-place of the inhabitants, — a custom 
that I believe prevails generally through 
China. In the upper part of this valley many 
kind of trees flourish, adding much to the 
beauty of the scene. 

Through this valley a large stream runs from 
the eastward, and ultimately passes into the 
sea ; about one mile before it does so, there 
is a sluice, by closing which a large quantity 
of water is directed into the various canals 
tliat intersect this valley, forming an easy 
means of irrigation and communication. 

The spot where the sluice is situated has 
become of considerable importance, it being 
the point nearest to the city, which heavy 
laden boats can approach at high water ; 
several shops and buildings are situated in 
this neighbourhood, and a good stone bridge 
crosses the stream. Many other bridges 

TING-HAI. 317 

may be seen in this valley, some of which 
are single slabs of granite, from ten to twelve 
feet in length and four in breadth, having a 
support under the centre of the slab. The 
whole space of these flat lands is generally 
covered with water, or in such a damp muddy 
state, as to render it out of the question to 
attempt to cross the fields ; so that the 
passenger must confine himself to the narrow 
causeways by which they are divided, and 
these seldom exceed three or four feet in 
breadth, the centres of which are flagged 
with granite, affording a dry and comfort- 
able foot-path, thoughj from Indian file 
in which you are obliged to advance, con- 
versation is effectually stopped. 

The city of Ting-hai is situated in this 
fertile valley of Yung-tung, which has just 
been described, and is about three-quarters 
of a mile from the sea. It is of an irregular 
pentagonal form, environed by a stone wall 
about three miles in extent. This wall is 
twenty-two feet in height and fifteen in 
thickness ; four feet of the above height 
forming the parapet, which is two feet 


through. Twenty-two square towers, placed 
at irregular distances, defend the walls. Four 
gates, answering to the cardinal points of 
the compass, give admission to the city. 
Each gate is flanked by two towers, and sup- 
ported by an outer gate, defences at right 
angles protecting the inner one. 

Round four sides of this pentagonal, 
and about thirty feet from the walls, there is 
a canal thirty-three feet broad. The fifth 
side is formed by a steep hill, up which the 
wall extends, a large bastion being formed 
on the top of it. The wall continues along 
the ridge of this hill, the outer sides of 
which are precipitous, when it again descends 
and unites to the western end of the southern 

From the canal a branch passes into the 
city through a water-gate, and intersects it 
in every direction ; thus affording an easy 
means of conveyance and communication to 
the citizens, but forming at the same time in 
many places large squares of stagnant water, 
which, in the hot weather, become very 


offensive, and add to the many other causes 
of malaria existing in this filthy city. 

The streets are narrow, ill-constructed, 
and dirty, having sewers running down the 
centre of them, which discharge themselves 
into the canals. These sewers are covered 
over with large slabs of stone, and for want 
of cleaning, had become extremely unpleasant. 
Latterly coolies were pressed, and being 
formed into gangs, attended by policemen, 
were obliged to clean them out, for which 
labour however they were paid. Every 
other vacant space or corner in the streets 
was occupied by immense earthenware jars, 
being receptacles for every kind of filth ; 
animal and vegetable matter of every descrip- 
tion being deposited within them for the 
purpose of manuring the fields within the 
walls, a considerable extent of ground on the 
eastern side of the inhabited part being 
devoted to the cultivation of rice. 

The houses were for the most part built of 
wood, which was beautifully varnished ; but 
the temples and principal buildings were con- 


structed of brick or stone plastered over with 
a kind of gypsum, being mostly surrounded 
with a plain wall. On my first ramble 
through this city the scene appeared most 
desolate : the inhabitants had nearly all for- 
saken their houses, the doors of which, in hun- 
dreds of cases, were standing open. On enter- 
ing these dwellings little met the view except 
beautiful specimens of carved work in wood, 
with which this city abounded ; but clean- 
liness had not been attended to ; and these 
desolate and dirty houses with the deserted 
street reminded one of a plague-struck city. 
From the southern gate a straight road 
led down to Taoutow, the seaport or suburb 
of the city ; numerous lanes, leading down 
to the wharfs and jetties, intersect this 
road, which, passing on the western side 
of the joss-house hill, terminates in a large 
square platform well flagged, on which the 
troops first landed. The joss-house hill is 
about 200 feet in height, and about eight 
hundred yards from the city, which it com- 
pletely commands. On its southern side 
is a large temple or joss-house, which is 


approached from the square beneath by a 
handsome flight of stone steps. Had this 
spot been properly fortified and well defended 
it would have cost us many valuable lives to 
have taken it. The greater part of the sub- 
urb was composed of shops and stores. 
Several very extensive shamsoo distilleries 
w^ere also found here, which spirit appears 
to be a staple of this island. Along the 
shore were large and well supplied timber 
yards, the principal part of which is brought 
from the main, these islands affording only 
an indifferent kind of fir. 

After the occupation of Ting-hai, the 
26tli Cameronians were encamped on the 
hill within the city walls. The 18th Royal 
Irish occupied the suburbs and joss-house 
hill, the 49th remaining on board the ships; 
but shortly afterwards they were disembarked, 
and encamped near the sappers, who were on 
a point to the westward of the city, which 
commanded Junk Pass. The Bengal volun- 
teers occupied high land at a little distance 
outside the north wall, while the Madras 
artillery, with their guns, were encamped 

p 3 

322 ' PLUNDER. 

in the paddy fields, surrounded by an arm of 
the canal. 

"When the troops first entered Ting-hai 
scarcely a soul was to be seen. Thousands 
had left the city, but many families remained 
shut up in their houses. When they found 
that the troops were peaceable and quiet, they 
gradually showed themselves, and the rabble 
speedily commenced a system of plunder ; 
and goods from the deserted houses were 
carried out of the city night and day. The 
commandant was requested to prevent this 
by giving directions that nothing should be 
allowed to pass the gate. Orders to this 
effect were at first refused, on the plea that 
the inhabitants ought to come and look after 
their own affairs ; and thus these disregarders 
of wewm and tuum were allowed to carry on a 
most prosperous game of spoliation, every 
thing rapidly disappearing before their light 
fingers. No shops were open, and had this 
continued the city would soon have been 
empty; orders were therefore at length given 
to stop the robbers at the gates, and not 
to allow them to climb over the walls. 


The remedy now became worse than the 
disease : honest men were stopped with the 
thieves ; for who was to distinguish between 
them. Goods out of number accumulated 
at the guard -house, and the magistrate's office 
was besieged by claimants to recover their 
property, who, on getting an order for it, 
helped themselves most liberally, taking very 
good care to make up for all previous losses ; 
and rarely, if ever, did the true owner 
become possessed of what was justly his. 
Coffins, notwithstanding the order, were al- 
lowed to pass, until the notice of the sentries 
was attracted by the quantities of dead rela- 
tions, whose bodies were carried out of the 
town, when their curiosity prompted them 
to examine one of these pretended reposi- 
tories of the dead, which proved to be full of 
rolls of silk, crape, and other valuables. 

The Chinese do not put their departed 
friends into large holes in the earth, but 
place the coffin on it ; when it is either 
covered with matting, earth, or a tomb is 
erected over it, many of which were seen 
much resembling the common tombs in Eng- 

324 COFFIN. 

land ; but these generally appeared to be of 
great age. The coffin is formed of wood, 
about four inches in thickness ; the upper 
and lower edges of the sides are deeply 
curved, the ends being fitted in on the same 
plan, which gives to this last resting-place a 
handsome and substantial appearance. 

The coffin-artifice failing, other methods 
were resorted to by the ever prolific minds 
of the Chinese. Several met their death 
from the sentries, while trying to force their 
way by them. One aged rogue, overladen 
with plunder, sunk in the canal ; many re- 
ceived the penalty of their crimes from the 
people whom they were attempting to rob. 
One fellow, in particular, was found tied to 
a post in the market-place so tightly bound, 
that the blood oozed out from his hands and 
arms, and his eyes were starting from their 
sockets. Another was brought to the magis- 
trate's office, who had been thus treated by 
his captor, — a literary graduate, and it was 
two hours before he recovered the use of his 
speech. This learned character seemed much 
astonished, and could not at all understand 


why he should be accused of cruelty, having, 
as he stated, merely executed an act of 

A musician having been detained on a 
charge of stealing musical instruments, with 
which he was laden, pleaded his cause so 
well, that he was permitted to depart. 
*' When," said he, addressing the magis- 
trate, *' I listen to the music of your troops, 
the sound of my own instruments appeared 
to be harsh and grating in my ears. I lose 
all pleasure in them. How could I then 
presume to enter any longer into competition 
with its strains ? Besides^ to me, it appears 
you have quite music enough ; and as the 
voice of mirth will be heard no more in this 
city, of what use is my abode amidst the 
afflicted ? I can carry on my profession only 
amongst joyous parties." 

Had nothing been allowed to have been 
removed out of the town, from the moment 
it was occupied by our troops, all the pre- 
cedino; and after sufferino- would in a great 
degree have been prevented. There were 
some who were foolish enough to think, that 


if the goods were retained the inhabitants 
would have remained with them, and those 
who had left the city would have returned. 
Can any one, having a knowledge of the 
Chinese love for property, doubt that such 
would have been the result ? 

A short time after the occupation, shops 
were opened, and poultry of the finest de- 
scription were plentiful. Emissaries from 
the Ning-po authorities being in the town 
and observing this, threatened the remaining 
inhabitants with death, if they supplied the 
English. This ought to have been stopped, 
and every means taken to have discovered and 
punished these vile servants of the man- 

The seizure of the compradore, before 
spoken of, was a most severe blovv, and 
caused, I may say, the whole of the after- 
sufferings to the troops. For as the inhabit- 
ants perceived that the English would not, 
or could not^ force the Ning-po authorities 
to give him up, they lost all confidence, and 
forsook our neigbourhood, crowding into the 
interior of the island, or to Ning-po ; and 


when opportunities offered of inquiring why 
they did so, the answer was, *' there is no se- 
curity for life or property. We may be seized 
by the agents of our government, and lose 
our lives for traitorous intercourse." Thus we 
had only ourselves to thank for the sufferings 
the troops endured. A powerful demonstra- 
tion or attack on Ning-po would, no doubt, 
have caused the release of the compradore, 
and made the authorities very cautious how 
they interfered with us at Chusan. 

About this time a native employed by the 
British was decoyed out of the gate, and was 
immediately seized and carried off to Ning-po. 
This put the finishing stroke to our inter- 
course ; the few remaining inhabitants fled 
the city; even the robbers were infected with 
the panic, and a Chinese was rarely to he 
seen in the street. It became impossible to 
obtain fresh provisions : no cocks or hens 
were to be seen in the neighbourhood of the 
city, and should one bird be heard to crow, 
he seldom crowed again. 

The camp followers were all day fishing in 
the canals, surrounded by servants ready to 


purchase the first bite; even the poor supply 
of vegetables had ceased. 

The troops had behaved in the most exem- 
plary way; but who can wonder if, under 
the temptation excited by hunger, irregu- 
larities vv^ere committed ? or if an occasional 
peasant more venturous than his countrymen, 
when making for the town with poultry, was 
eased of it before he arrived at his journey's 
end ? In this state things remained for some 
time, and when protective papers for houses 
and property were notified, only a few ap- 
peared to avail themselves of the offers held 
out to them. 

It being advisable to move the 26th and 
49th regiments into winter quarters, many 
houses in the city were appropriated to that 
purpose, the owners of which, in numerous 
cases, not appearing to claim their property, 
they were necessarily broken open and the 
contents sent to the temple of Confucius, 
where sales were occasionally held. 

One great difficulty felt in our first inter- 
course with this island, was the little know- 
ledge the natives had of silver. The tchen 


being their circulating medium, thousands 
of strings of which were carried off by the 
robbers before the soldiers became aware 
of their value. The inhabitants would at 
first not take silver, except the Carolus 
pillared dollar ; and it was very long before 
they could be induced to receive the Mex- 
ican on any terms. I have, when paying 
for bullocks, seen them examine the dollars 
most minutely, only selecting those on which 
that king's effigy was represented with a 
small piece of armour on the shoulder. 

When they became more familiar with our 
silver coin, I saw a man refuse to take a 
sovereign, preferring an English shilling : in 
fact, nothing like a gold coinage has existed 
in China for ages. So addicted are the 
Chinese to debasing the currency that even 
the tchen, which is of less value than a tenth 
of a penny^ is counterfeited. They will take 
a dollar, cut off the stamp about the thick- 
ness of tinsel, and scrape out the inside 
until a mere shell of the same thickness is 
left ; they then fill it up with copper, and 
neatly braze the stamp on. The most critical 


examination of an unpractised eye will not 
easily discover the cheat. All the English 
houses employ shrofFs, native Chinese, who 
readily detect a bad dollar; and as they 
are answerable for any that may be such 
after undergoing their examination, the 
English merchants are seldom sufferers by 
base coin. 

The temples or joss-houses of Ting-hai 
are amongst the finest in China. On enter- 
ing the large and deep gateway of the great 
temple a colossal figure is seen seated on each 
side ; the right-hand one being the warrior 
Chin-ky, while the one on the left is Chin- 
loong, but a high railing prevents the curious 
from touching them. After examining these 
seated giants, you pass to a large open quad- 
rangle, one side of which is appropriated to 
the dormitories of the priests, and the other 
consists of a long narrow apartment with 
altars before three of their gods, who occupy 
arm-chairs, having elegant lanterns suspended 
before them. 

The first is an aged figure, with a long 
black beard, apparently sleeping ; the coun- 

IDOLS. 331 

tenance expressing the most perfect repose*. 
The second is a female, the goddess Teen- 
how, the queen of heaven. The third is a 
male figure with eight arms, newly gilt, and 
apparently lately established in his domicile : 
he is no doubt of Indian origin. The fourth 
side of the quadrangle is occupied by the 

No sooner do you step clear of the screen 
which is before the door, than you are struck 
by the magnificence of the carving, and the 
colossal Budha, seated on the lotus flowerf. 
This figure, in its sitting position, is at least 

* This figure came into the possession of an officer 
of the squadron, and when the ships were at Canton, the 
compradore attending the ship it was on board, expressed 
a great wish to become possessed of it. On his desire 
being gratified, he presented to the officer three sets of 
josses, with incense burners, &c. He assigned his 
reason for being anxious to become the possessor of the 
sleepy joss already described, in these words: " My 
catchee he — my get plenty pigeon." We afterwards 
learnt, in confirmation of the compradore's intelligence, 
that this figure was the Chinese Morpheus, and also 
brought good fortune to his owner. 

-|- From the lotus the bodies of the saints are to be 
re-produced. With the Budhist it is the type of a 
creative power. 


fifteen feet in height. On its right and left 
are seated two other figures, the whole 
representing the triad, or three precious 
Budhas. These three figures are gilt. Some 
idea of their gigantic proportions may be 
formed from the forefinger of the left hand 
figure measuring eight inches in length. 
Behind these figures are mirrors made of 
the famous pe-tung, or white copper*, which 
when polished is not easily distinguished from 
silver. Many of these mirrors are from 
three to four feet in diameter. 

Passing round a large square building 
behind the Budhas, you find a row of thirty 
of his disciples as large as life, of different 
ages and sexes, all in a standing posture, but 
in different attitudes. These figures are 
also richly gilt ; the play of the human pas- 
sions is exquisitely depicted in their coun- 
tenances ; and though they are too corpu- 
lent and fat for our ideas of proportion, they 
are true to the Chinese standard of beauty. 
On the whole they are good specimens of 
the fine arts in China ; and were they 

* Pe-tung is only found in the province of Yun-nan. 


formed of any other material than clay, 
which would admit of removal, they might 
have made a handsome addition to our 
national museum. 

One figure is very remarkable : it is that 
of a woman with a child apparently issuing 
from the centre of her breast ; she has a glory 
round her head. Another is that of a 
man with an eye in the front of the fore- 
head*. Before these figures, and behind 
the Budha, is an altar covered with small 
but well-executed figures of Chinese ; at 
the back of which is a lofty grotto con- 
structed of pieces of rock. On the projec- 
tions of this are numerous groups of figures, 
amidst which are many that appear very 
much like cherubim, as represented by our 
village sculptors. 

I am inclined to think from this, and the 
glory round the female's head, that the figures 

* In a ramble through the city I came to a joss-house 
in which was a figure much like the Egyptian god Mea- 
otis. It was the figure of a man, of a red or chocolate 
colour, with a hawk's head, but clothed in the usual Chi- 
nese dress, with the black boots worn by the mandarins. 
I could gain no information from the priest relative to it. 


of the virgin and angels, formerly taken to 
China by the Jesuit missionaries, have led to 
a mixture of the Christian with the Chinese 
worship. I was at a future period much 
shocked at Macao by seeing the cross with 
our blessed Saviour on it, and several other 
representations of the Virgin Mary and of 
Roman catholic saints, for sale, and mixed 
up with josses in the Chinese shops. After 
this what rational hope can be entertained of 
converting these people from being worship- 
pers of idols, who would naturally turn 
round and say, "Why these are your own 
gods ?" 

To return to the temple, we observed 
a most magnificent bell, richly ornamented 
with Chinese characters ; and our attention 
was also attracted by one of the largest drums 
I ever beheld, deep in its tones, and, unlike 
our " sheep-skin fiddles," each head was 
covered with the hide of a bullock* . 

Numerous out-buildings appeared to be 

* These are beaten to arouse the votaries of the god; 
and the great bell is struck morning and evening for the 
same purpose. 


appropriated to the priests, but only a solitary 
aged being remained to defend his shrine 
from the rude attacks of the " barbarians." 
This temple, I believe, escaped with compa- 
ratively little injury; but never before had 
there been such a destruction of Chinese 
gods as took place in this city. The wanton 
iconoclasts satisfied their consciences by re- 
flecting that they were only destroying graven 

Another temple, in which the commissa- 
riat department were quartered, possessed 
also some beautiful specimens of sculpture. 
Kwan-yin, the goddess of mercy, riding on a 
dolphin, in a troubled sea, distributing her 
acts of grace, and exhibiting her power to 
save, would have been looked upon as a splen- 
did piece of art, had it been discovered in 
Greece instead of in a small Chinese island. 

The white elephant in this temple created 
much speculation amongst our orientalists, 
it having ever been considered as peculiar to 
the Burmese and Siamese worship ; but 
when it is remembered how great an inter- 
course, by war and commerce, has for ages 


existed between the Chinese and Burmese, I 
can see nothing extraordinary in some of the 
natives having introduced a Burmese idol, 
as well as Budha from Ceylon. 

Before the principal image of this temple 
stands a large, massive, and elaborately 
carved table, on which are jars filled with a 
fine blue earth for fixing the joss-sticks* 
into, when burning. Accompanying these 
are round vases filled with fortune-telling 
sticks, which are flat pieces of bamboo, 
painted with vermillion, and having Chinese 
numbers and characters on them. If a Chi- 
naman is about to set out on a journey, to 
make a purchase, or perform any other tran- 
saction of life, he comes and takes out one of 
these sticks ; when by the characters on it 
he is referred to a leaf of some of the small 
books which hang up in the temple, and by 
what he there reads he decides on giving 
up or persevering in his intended act. 

* The joss-stick, from the nature of its composition, 
is truly a coprolite, if the geologists can afford me the 
term : it moulders away like a pastille. They are 
always burning in their temples, and are constantly used 
by the natives when "chin-chinning" Joss. 


The temple of Confucius is situated in a 
most romantic spot, embowered in trees, but 
time has done its work. Many parts are 
fast falling to decay. By the English it was 
used as a receptacle for all captured property. 
The Chinese made several attempts, by break- 
ing through the walls, to purloin the con- 
tents. The dry masonry of the wall is beau- 
tiful ; it is a sort of mosaic work, — every 
stone fitting with the greatest niceness, so 
that you could not introduce the point of the 
finest knife into the interstices. In addition 
to these there may be seen many smaller 
temples ; and every dwelling of any importance 
has a joss-house or temple of ancestors 
attached to it. 

Ting-hai possesses a foundling hospital and 
one for decrepid and aged persons; and three 
arsenals containing cannon-balls, bows and 
arrows, flags, and clothing for the troops. 
Great regularity and neatness prevailed in 
each of these departments ; the different de- 
scription of shot being in separate compart- 
ments, while the dresses were neatly labelled 
and packed into presses. These were the 

VOL. I. Q 


large loose jackets thickly padded with cotton, 
the inside of the breast being closely inlaid 
with thin scales of iron, rendering that part 
of the dress perfectly ball-proof. As the cold 
weather came on these formed excellent warm 
dresses for the lascars, though their appear- 
ance was rather grotesque in the clothing 
of the "robust and brave*." Their rockets, 
which were neatly arranged, were the most 
childish weapon that can be imagined; in 
size about equal to a two-ounce rocket, with 
a small iron barb at the end. They gene- 
rally discharge them in showers of thousands 
at a time, which were admired for their 
beauty, but never dreaded by us from any 
injury they were likely to do. The guns 
were of the most miserable description, but 
curious from their extraordinary shape and 
antiquity; several were mere bars of iron 
hooped together. Many of the arms were 
sold, others destroyed, and some sent home 
as trophies to England. It was calculated 

* The front and back of most of these dresses were 
ornamented with a round red spot, on which the Chinese 
characters, " robust and brave," were worked. 


that there were equipments for 1300 men, — 
the amount of the Chusan local force. Some 
few hehnets were found in the arsenal : they 
were of polished steel, but are only used by 
their horse soldiers. 

Several very extensive and well-arranged 
public granaries well filled with paddy were 
discovered, and as rice became scarce, they 
were opened for the purpose of selling it at 
moderate price; but the natives appeared 
to be afraid to become purchasers ; and the 
ducks and fowls were alone benefited by the 
contents of these store-houses, which were 
still well supplied when the force evacuated 
the island. 

A very extensive pawnbroker's shop was 
also found filled with every imaginable 
article, from the dresses and ornaments of the 
"red gallery" to those of the "green win- 
dow," with white copper mirrors and an 
innumerable collection of gongs. The owner 
of this establishment not appearing after 
repeated proclamations, the property which 
had been previously removed to the temple 
of Confucius, was sold, and the building 

Q 2 


converted into an hospital. I have no doubt 
that one of the high officers late of Ting-hai 
owned this establishment. Keshen was said 
to own several of them, from which he 
derived great wealth. 

This being the capital of the Heen, the Luh 
Poo, or six boards were in existence there, 
each having its own peculiar office filled with 
old and mouldy archives which had been trea- 
sured for so long a period, that it became an 
arduous job to examine them. I was tempted 
to see if I could rummage any thing curious 
from amongst them, but the smell was so 
unpleasant, as to make me speedily desist. 
For a length of time they rested in peace, 
until it was discovered that the Ning-po 
authorities had employed emissaries to steal 
them, when their fate was decided, and all 
these ancient documents were committed to 
the flames, thereby causing much labour to 
the police, who might as easily have burnt as 
much asbestos as these ancient records. 



Good effects of discipline — Lingua Franca — Resources 
of Chusan — Its Vegetable productions — Paddy- 
Manure •— Anecdote — Cotton — Bricks — Roads — 
Death of Lieut. Conway — His Funeral — Watering- 
Melville Repaired — Present from Elepoo — The Fever 
—Truce — Innumerable Duck's Eggs — Little Feet — 
Pain well Borne — Women's Hair — Marriage — Arti- 
ficial Flowers — Charms of an Anchor Button — Ad- 
miral sails for Canton — Starboard Jack — Elepoo's 
Change of Policy— Chinese Liners — Cast large Guns 
—Houses used as Fire-Wood — Elepoo's Threat to 
burn the City — Keshen's Treachery — Lew appointed 
Commander-in-Chief — His Expedition postponed sine 
die — Beneficial effects of Cold Weather — Orders to 
Evacuate Chusan— The Evacuation — Climate and 
Range of Thermometer — Squadron sail from Star- 
board Jack — Fishing-boats — Arrival at Toong-koo. 

Her feet beneath her petticoat, 

Like little mice, stole in and out, 

As if they fear'd the light. — Suckling. 

The burning of the archives, alluded to in 
the previous Chapter, excited great indigna- 


tion in the minds of the Chinese. This, how- 
ever gradually subsided, when they saw the 
good order and discipline which prevailed 
among the British troops ; for they well knew 
that under similar circumstances, their own 
countrymen would have pillaged and mur- 
dered in every direction. At a time, when it 
was reported at Chusan, that the Ning-po 
authorities had a plan of attacking Ting-hai, 
the well-disposed Chinese were warned not 
to harbour any of the mandarins or troops. 
They replied, they knew their own interest 
better ; they would just as soon house the 
same number of well-known thieves and 

After the troops had all taken up canton- 
ments in the city, the Chinese, as they 
returned, opened shops in the midst of their 
quarters ; and finding that the soldiers had 
plenty of money, used every inducement to 
get their custom. The "tolah" and "loo- 
pee" becoming most familiar terms, a lingua 
franca rapidly sprung up, composed of words 
and sounds from the European, Asiatic, and 
Chinese languages. Nor was it confined to 

CHUSAN. 343 

these in particular, for the imitation of the 
lowing of cattle, and cackling of poultry were 
introduced : the repetition of the words 
"cackle^, cackle," being the first method of 
making known the want of cocks and hens, 
they were henceforth called "kak;" while 
ducks were *' wak," and geese were "his- 
wak;" the oxen and cows being yclept "boo," 
which had originated from our first foraging 
parties indicating that they were in want of 
those animals by putting their arms over 
their foreheads, and ex.claiming, "boo! boo! 
boo !" Dogs of course were naturally '^ bow- 
wows ;" and thus quickly all the articles in 
common use got named. But I must not 

The island of Chusan has great resources 
within itself, and would, with a good govern- 
ment, and proper duties levied on its trade, 
speedily more than pay all its expenses. 
Placed as it is off the centre of the Chinese 
coast, it becomes the key to their northern 
and southern trade, and from its approxima- 
tion to the Yang-tse-kiang and Hoang-ho 


(yellow) rivers. It is a most admirable posi- 
tion for the establishment of a force for keep- 
ing the Chinese to the terms of any treaty 
that may ultimately be made with them ; for 
good faith alone will never effect it. It 
would also, from its central position, form 
an emporium for trade, that would before 
long rival any other in Asia. The diffi- 
culties of the passage to it would be soon 
overcome. Many of my readers may re- 
member when the voyage to Macao was, at 
certain seasons of the year, considered almost 

I have before shown, that the sickness pre- 
vailing amongst our forces was not so much 
owing to the climate as to other causes, all 
of which might be removed. The malaria, 
so much complained of in the neighbour- 
hood of Ting-hai, would cease, by draining 
the valley in which the city is situated, — an 
object easily to be effected, the whole of 
the land lying above high-water mark, where 
the cultivation of corn might be substituted 
instead of paddy, of which this island at 


present produces a great surplus ; and this, 
with shamsoo* and salt-fish, constitute at 
present the principal exports. 

Timber is scarce ; but the tallow tree is 
found in great abundance. Several manu- 
factories of candles were observed in the city 
and suburbs. These candles are of various 
colours, and have a thin outer coating of wax. 
The wick is large and coarse, being generally 
of rush ; nor do the candles give a very 
powerful light. 

This island produces wheat, buck-wheat, 
rice in great abundance, millet, Indian corn, 
barley, sugar-cane, sweet potatoes in large 
quantities, spinach, beans, bringals, onions, 
carrots, yams, lettuce, turnips, ginger, very 
fine rhubarb, tobacco, peas, peaches, plums, 
oranges, limes, loquats, the arbutus, and a 

* Such vast quantities of this spirit were found in the 
city, that after the owners of it were discovered, and they 
were directed to remove it under penalty of forfeiture, 
hundreds of coolies were employed for many days in 
doing so. To prevent the troops from being tempted to 
make free with it, the contents of the store-houses were 
kept profoundly secret. It is a spirit most detrimental 
to the European constitution. 

Q 3 


kind of cherry, with a coarse kind of tea, 
good indigo and cotton. There was, in ad- 
dition to the above, a vegetable growing on 
this island I have not met with in any other 
country: in appearance it much resembled 
endive, and when boiled, the flavour was very 
like sea-kale. 

Another fruit, from being perfectly un- 
known to us, also attracted particular 
notice. It was round, and about the size 
of an apple, of a bright yellow colour; the 
flavour of it was most delicious, and when 
perfectly ripe, the pulp melted in the mouth. 
It had from four to five seeds resembling 
small tamarind stones; the stalk was formed 
and attached to the fruit like that of the 
potato-apple, which it much resembled, 
except in size. The plant on which it grew 
appeared to be a species of melon. 

From the general climate of Chusan, there 
can be no doubt that all the grains, grasses, 
vegetables, and fruits of Europe might be 
produced on it. Mulberry trees were in 
great abundance, and the silk- worm suc- 
ceeded remarkably well until the conquest of 

PADDY. 347 

this island by the Tartars, when the trees 
were cut down, and the inhabitants of that 
day annihilated. 

As the paddy is cut, it is gathered up in 
small bundles, and at once beaten out on a 
square sieve about five feet in length, which 
is erected in the field at an angle of about 
sixty degrees, having a box beneath it, into 
which the grain falls. Paddy may be seen 
at the same time in all the stages of cultiva- 
tion, from that which is just out of the 
ground to that which is being reaped. Most 
abundant crops are produced, and the land 
is never allowed to be idle. Of kitchen 
vegetables it will produce three crops in a 
year; they manure it highly by a liquid prepar- 
ation, with which each plant is constantly and 
copiously supplied. Horns, bones, hair, and 
every substance convertible into manure, is 
carefully husbanded throughout. Even the 
shavings of the head are kept for this 
purpose, and form no inconsiderable portion. 
It should be remembered that hundreds of 
millions have more than half the head close- 
haved, the upper classes daily, and the 


lower as often as they can afford it. But 
there is a particular kind of manure which, 
being most valued, is frequently dried into 
small cakes, and thus transported from one 
place to another. 

An officer in the expedition, who was very 
fond of tasting every thing he met with, 
boarded a junk laden with a quantity of 
these cakes, when mistaking them for biscuits 
he wished to ascertain if they were eatable, 
by breaking off a piece. Muss, muss, muss, — 
no taste ; sniff, sniff, sniff, — no smell ! What 
can they be? — and it was some time before 
it was known, when he took very good care 
to keep the laugh from himself by always 
being first to relate the tale. 

The cotton grows on small plants, seldom 
more than eighteen inches or two feet in 
height, and is contained in a little pod. In 
most of the cottages the women may be seen 
carding and spinning the produce of their 
own fields, which is afterwards woven and 
dyed for family consumption. 

Bricks, pans, and tiles^ are manufactured 
from a fine blue clay, plentiful in this island. 


When burnt they retain their original colour, 
and when struck, emit a fine metallic sound. 
The first lieutenants soon found that, on 
having them pounded up, they answered 
admirably for polishing brass work. The 
bricks used in the parapet wall round the 
city, were of a very large size, each being 
stamped with the year when they were made. 
Lime appeared scarce, and what llitie they 
have is made from shells of the ostrea tribe. 
Charcoal, which is brought in large quan- 
tities from the main land, is used in burning 
the bricks and lime. 

In this island almost every thing is borne on 
the shoulders of men, the roads which inter- 
sect it being very little better than footpaths. 
Wheeled vehicles seemed perfectly unknown. 

But it is time that I should be getting on 
board the ship, and see what the squadron 
have been about. On the 12tli of October, 
the Blenheim anchored at '* St. Helens." 

On the 13th, our second lieutenant, J. W. 
Conway, fell a victim to the climate. He 
had for a considerable time been suffering 
from severe dysentery, and for some days 


the most sanguine of us could not hope that 
he would long survive. In him I lost a highly 
esteemed messmate and friend, and the ser- 
vice a most promising and talented young 
officer. Captain Eyres had also for some 
days been alarmingly ill ; but, under Divine 
Providence, a naturally strong constitution 
carried him through it, and he lived to reap 
a rich harvest of laurels in the Canton river. 

The 14th was devoted to interring the 
remains of our late gallant messmate. A 
quiet and secluded place, near the engineers' 
encampment, Avas selected, a natural and 
beautiful arbour of trees being formed over 
the spot, which, for its sequestered situa- 
tion, had been previously selected as the last 
resting-place of two of our military brethren. 
A numerous attendance of officers showed the 
high esteem in which he was held by all who 
knew him. At five o'clock in the afternoon, 
the procession of boats quitted the ship ; and 
as the sun went down, the last words of the 
sublime funeral service of our church fell from 
the lips of his old friend and messmate, the 
Rev. Mr. Fielding, chaplain of the Melville. 


The marines fired the usual vollies, and we 
returned to the ship, sobered in spirit and 
thought by the melancholy duty we had been 
performing. Subsequently, a small stone 
was erected over the spot, bearing a neat and 
appropriate inscription. 

We were now employed getting firewood 
on board from the men-of-war junks which 
had been driven on shore at the capture of 
the island, and watering from a large tank- 
place, that drained the paddy fields, the 
water in which was sweet, but so exceedingly 
muddy, that a bucket-full of it would, in a 
very short period, deposit about two inches 
of sediment. It was, however, *' Hobson*s 

On the 18th, the Blonde proceeded off 
Ning-po, where negotiations were still going 
on ; and on the 21st, the Melville came out 
of the inner harbour, having repaired the 
injuries she had received, as well as the 
means afforded by the squadron and island 
admitted of; but she was found to be so 
seriously injured about the stern-post and 
dead wood, that it was obvious she would 

352 ELEPOO. 

ultimately have to proceed to England or 
Bombay to be docked. 

On the 27th, Elepoo, who had lately been 
appointed imperial commissioner to treat with 
the barbarians, sent a present of bullocks, 
sheep, &c., professing all kinds of goodwill 
towards the English : — 

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. 
At this time Elepoo was for temporizing : he 
saw how unable the Chinese were to contend 
with us ; therefore he coincided in Keshen's 
fast and loose policy^ and a few days after- 
wards a truce was agreed on, the terms of 
which will be shortly seen. 

On the 29th of October the Volage sailed 
for Manilla and Macao. Her captain (G. 
Elliot) was to make arrangements at the 
former place for the reception of numbers of 
the convalescent troops ; it being hoped that 
a change of air would restore them to health. 
This fever broke down the spirits, and after 
shaking the sufferer for six or eight hours, 
left him in a state of great inertion, destroying 
even the love of life ; and he too generally 
sunk quickly into the grave. But dysentery 

FEVER. 353 

was even more fatal than the fever. It 
seldom gave up the victim it had once fixed 
on ; and the finest young men, the flower of 
our regiments, fell before this malignant and 
virulent enemy. 

The Conway, Algerine, and Young Hebe, 
sailed on the same day to continue a survey 
in the neighbourhood of the Kwesan islands. 

On the 1st of November, we proceeded to 
" St. Helens " where we were employed pur- 
chasing bidlocks for the squadron, in which 
we were very successful ; our foraging par- 
ties generally bringing off from five to six 
head of cattle per day. The Pylades had 
gone to Sing Kong, at which town a detach- 
ment of troops were quartered. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Sing Kong are large stone 
quarries, the product of which might easily 
be brought to Ting-hai by water. 

On the 6th, the following memorandum 
was issued to the squadron : — 

" General Memorandum. 
"JI.M.S. Melville, Chusan, Nov. 6, 1840. 
" The commander-in-chief has now to give 
notice to the expedition, that a truce has 


been agreed to between the imperial high 
commissioner and himself, pending the ne- 
gotiation between the two countries. The 
terms of which are, generally, that neither 
party shall advance beyond the boundary 
assigned to him, and that native intercourse 
is not to be interrupted. The English boun- 
dary has been defined as taking in the Island 
of Chusan and the small islands immediately 
adjacent; including all within a line run 
round the Elephant, Tower Hill, Blackwall, 
Fisher's Island, Pooto, Taouying-shan, form- 
ing one side of the south-east passage of 
Dalrymple's chart, and Deer Island. 

" The commander-in-chief has therefore 
to call upon all persons, connected with the 
expedition, on visiting these islands, not to 
go beyond these boundaries, or in any way 
to interfere with the Chinese, as to give just 
cause of complaint that the truce is not 
strictly maintained on our part. The com- 
mander-in-chief is also glad to avail himself 
of this opportunity of recording the satisfac- 
tion he has felt at finding that a nearer 
friendly intercourse is springing up with the 


Chinese ; and considering how very much 
the comforts and conveniences of the expedi- 
tion depend on the extension of such inter- 
course, he calls with confidence on every 
officer and gentleman in the expedition to 
aid him in cultivating a good understanding 
■with the people. 

(Signed) "George Elliot, 
" Rear-Admiral, and Com. -in- Chief." 

The whole of the detained junks were now 
allowed to proceed to their respective desti- 
nations ; and this act of liberality, it was 
hoped, would cause the release of the cap- 
tives at Ning-po ; but in this expectation we 
were disappointed. Still a friendly inter- 
course was continued. Numerous supplies 
were sent to the prisoners from their friends 
in Chusan ; though it afterwards appeared 
that the Chinese officers who conveyed them, 
did not forget to levy contributions on the 
different articles ; for out of two dozen bottles 
of gin, one dozen had been emptied, and the 
bottles filled with water. 

Satin and Chinese ware were purchased 
for those who wished to obtain them ; and 

356 ducks' eggs. 

every kind of supply became most abundant, 
boats, containing much variety of them 
swarming from all quarters. Ducks' eggs 
had always been plentiful ; and I must ac- 
knowledge it still puzzles me how such im- 
mense quantities of them could be brought 
to one point, as ducks only lay one egg at a 
time. The common price was one hundred 
for a '*tolah." There must have been hun- 
dreds of thousands consumed, and yet the 
supply never failed. I doubt whether ducks 
were not very scarce on the second occupa- 
tion of Chusan. 

A vessel having arrived laden with wool- 
len cloths, and as they would take nothing 
but the Carolus pillared dollars, the supply of 
which was beginning to fail, several bales of 
cloth were got from her, to try therewith 
to open a trade of barter for bullocks, but it 
did not succeed. The owners of the cattle 
would have nothing to do with it, or offered 
so low a price as to render any exchange 

During our stay at this anchorage we made 
constant trips to the surrounding islands j in 


one of which, — at Tea Island, — we had a good 
opportunity of minutely examining the far- 
famed littlefemale feet. I had been purchasing 
a pretty little pair of satin shoes for about half 
a dollar, at one of the Chinese farmers' houses, 
where we were surrounded by several men, 
women, and children. By signs we expressed 
a wish to see the pied mignon of a really 
good-looking woman of the party. Our 
signs were quickly understood, but, probably, 
from her being a matron, it was not considered 
quite comme il faut for her to comply with 
our desire, as she would not consent to show 
us her foot ; but a very pretty interesting 
girl of about sixteen was placed on a stool 
ior the purpose of gratifying our curiosity. 

At first she was very bashful, and appeared 
not to like exposing her Cinderella-like slip- 
per; but the shine of a new and very bright 
*'loopee" soon overcame her delicacy, when 
she commenced unwinding the upper bandage 
which passes round the leg, and over a tongue 
that comes up from the heel. The shoe was 
then removed, and the second bandage taken 
off, which did duty for a stocking; the turns 


round the toes and ankles being; verv tight, 
and keeping all in place. 

On the naked foot being exposed to view 
we were agreeably surprised by finding it 
delicately white and clean, for we fully ex- 
pected to have found it otherwise, from the 
known habits of most of the Chinese. The 
leg from the knee downwards was much 
wasted ; the foot appeared as if broken up at 
the instep, while the four small toes were 
bent flat and pressed down under the foot, 
the great toe only being allowed to retain its 
natural position. By the breaking of the 
instep a high arch is formed between the 
heel and the toe, enabling the individual to 
step with them on an even surface; in this 
respect materially differing from the Canton 
and Macao ladies ; for with them the instep 
is not interfered with, but a very high heel 
is substituted, thus bringing the point of the 
great toe to the ground. 

When our Canton compradore was shown 
a Chusan shoe, the exclamation was " He- 
yaw! how can walkee so fashion ?" nor would 
he be convinced that such was the case. 


The toes, doubled under the foot I have 
been describing, could only be moved by the 
hand sufficiently to show that they were not 
actually grown into the foot. 1 have often 
been astonished at seeing how well the women 
contrived to walk on their tiny pedestals. 
Their gait is not unlike the little mincing 
walk of the French ladies ; they were con- 
stantly to be seen going about without the 
aid of any stick, and I have often seen them 
at Macao contending against a fresh breeze 
with a tolerably good-sized umbrella spread. 
The little children, as they scrambled away 
before us, balanced themselves with their 
arms extended, and reminded one much of 
an old hen between walking and flying. 

All the women I saw about Chusan had 
small feet. It is a general characteristic of 
true Chinese descent j and there cannot be a 
greater mistake than to suppose that it is 
confined to the higher orders, though it may 
be true that they take more pains to compress 
the foot to the smallest possible dimensions 
than the lower classes do. High and low, 
rich and poor, all more or less follow the 


custom; and when you see a large or natu- 
ral-sized foot, you may depend upon it, the 
possessor is not of true Chinese blood, but is 
either of Tartar extraction, or belongs to the 
tribes that live and have their being on the 
waters. The Tartar ladies, however, are fall- 
ing into this Chinese habit of distortion, as 
the accompanying edict of the emperor 
proves. For know, good people, you must not 
dress as you like in China. You must follow 
the customs and habits of your ancestors, and 
wear your winter and summer clothing as the 
emperor, or one of the six boards shall direct. 
If this were the custom in England, how 
beneficial it would be to our pockets, and 
detrimental to the tailors and milliners. 

Let us now see what the emperor says 
about little feet^ on finding that they were 
coming into vogue among the undeformed 
daughters of the Mantchows. Not only does 
he attack the little feet, but the large Chinese 
sleeves which w^re creeping into fashion at 
court. Therefore to check these misde- 
meanours, the usual Chinese remedy was 
resorted to, and a flaming edict launched, 


denouncing them ; threatening the " heads 
of the families with degradation and punish- 
ment, if they did not put a stop to such gross 
illegalities ;" and his celestial majesty further 
goes on and tells the fair ones, ** that by per- 
sisting in their vulgar habits, they will debar 
themselves from the possibility of being 
selected as ladies of honour for the inner 
palace, at the approaching presentation!" How 
far this had the desired effect I cannot say. 

When the children begin to grow, they 
suffer excruciating pain, but as they advance 
in years, their vanity is played upon by being 
assured that they would be exceedingly ugly 
with large feet. Thus they are persuaded to 
put up with what they consider a necessary 
evil, but the children are remarkably patient 
under pain. A poor little child about 
five years old was brought to our surgeon 
having been most dreadfully scalded, part of 
its dress adhering to the skin. During the 
painful operation of removing the linen, it 
only now and then said, " he-yaw, he-yaw.^' 

As the little girl advances in years her 
hair becomes another matter of great atten- 

VOL, I. R 


tion, and is generally very luxuriant; before 
marriage it is allowed to hang in two platted 
tails behind, but on changing her state it is 
turned up, the whole of the front hair being 
carried back and formed into a knot, drawn 
to the top of the head, when it is ornamented 
with many gay artificial flowers. 

Marriage in China is to the female only a 
life of pain. They are absolutely dependent 
on the whims and caprices of their husbands, 
who look upon them, and treat them more in 
the light of slaves and servants than of com- 
panions. In their manners great modesty is 
affected ; but it is only an affectation of mo- 
desty ; for China is intrinsically an immoral 
and sensual nation. 

Continuing our ramble, an old man met 
us, and invited us into his house. We pur- 
chased from him several boxes of artificial 
flowers, the colours of which were most 
natural imitations of the originals. These 
flowers were made of feathers and silk, most 
of the bouquets being ornamented with 
counterfeit butterflies or humming-birds ; 
the imitation of the orange blossom was 


most beautifully executed ; but like every- 
thing else, we paid for them about ten times 
as much as they were worth. Another old 
gentleman was most polite in his attentions, 
inviting us to his domicile, and regaling us 
with tea: he seemed perfectly happy at 
having an opportunity of showing his civi- 

As we rambled along, observing a large 
and good-looking house, we determined to 
see what its inmates were like ; when we 
popped upon an old lady and three very 
interesting daughters, employed in preparing 
cotton for spinning, all the men of the 
household being occupied in the fields. We 
were welcomed with smiles by the quartette, 
who, though but a small farmer's family, 
displayed an ease and grace in their manners 
that we might look for in vain amongst our 
own cottagers. We speedily got up a flirta- 
tion of signs ; and by showing a little shoe 
and a dollar, induced the matron of the party 
to part with a very pretty pair of green satin 
ones which she had on ; when one of the 
daughters very gracefully presented me with 

R 2 


a sprig of chrysanthemum that she had 
plucked in her garden for the purpose. Of 
course I put it in the button-hole of my coat ; 
and remembering the charms of an anchor- 
button, gallantly cut one from my jacket, 
and presented it to the little coquette, who 
immediately attached it to the front of her 
dress. But as time was flying away, we were 
obliged to part from these agreeable little 
ladies, and make the best of our way on 

The admiral having concluded the terms 
of the truce, it became necessary that he 
should proceed to the southward, as the 
interview with Keshen was to take place 
in the early part of next month ; therefore 
on the morning of the 14th of November, 
the Melville, Wellesley, and Modeste were 
got under weigh, the Blenheim joining 
company outside^ leaving Captain Bourchier 
in the Blonde, as senior naval officer at 
Chusan. At night the squadron anchored 
off Starboard Jack, (a low flat reef about ten 
miles north-west from Kewsan,) at which 
anchorage I will leave them for the present ; 


and though it will be anticipating my sub- 
ject, I will ere quitting Chusan bring all the 
occurrences that transpired there, up to its 
first, and I hope last, evacuation by our 
troops on the 23rd February, 1841. 

As soon as the admiral had quitted Chu- 
san, Elepoo issued a proclamation, setting 
forth that he would catch no more foreign- 
ers. Wonderful now was the change in the 
once deserted city of Ting-hai, thousands 
of people quickly flocked into it, and shops 
were opened in all directions ; provisions 
became more than abundant, and the shops 
teemed with curiosities, &c. But this was 
not to last ; for late in this month the king 
"of a hundred umbrella-wearing chiefs,'* 
the great Taou-kwang, was beginning to 
change his policy towards the foreigners, so 
that Elepoo was sharply admonished for 
giving away sacrificial animals to the re- 
bellious barbarians, thus evidently showing 
that the war party was already gaining the 
ascendency in the councils at Pekin. It is 
worthy of observation, and should be at- 
tended to as an historical fact in anv future 


negotiations with the Chinese, that the more 
yielding we have been, and the more inclined 
to make concessions to them, the more violent 
the court has become in hurling its threats 
and denunciations against us. 

Elepoo, who had previously been all kind- 
ness and condescension, and who was, in fact, 
an aged and peaceable man, was now obliged 
to listen to the counsel of some would-be 
heroes about his person, — heroes who, accord- 
ing to their own showing, would annihilate 
in the twinkling of an eye, the whole 
British force in Chusan. 

The emperor now directed that several 
line-of-battle ships should be constructed on. 
the models of the barbarians, and that they 
should proceed against them. 

What was to be done ? Elepoo had heard 
that there were such vessels, but he had 
never seen them, and had a very indistinct 
idea of what they were like. To end the 
difficulty, he determined on doing it by a 
stroke of the pen ; and, therefore, forthwith 
issued an edict, directing the head naval 
constructor at Ning-po to build several 


exact imitations of the large English ships ; 
but he, being neither a Sir William Rule, nor 
a Sir Robert Seppings, after maturely consi- 
dering the matter, and his perfect inability 
to comply with this peremptory order, took 
the usual Chinese method of getting out 
of his difficulties by quietly committing 

This so exasperated the old man's son 
that he forwarded a complaint to Pekin 
against Elepoo for cruel and harsh treatment 
to his father ; which charge was, with usual 
Chinese justice, eventually used in hurrying 
the commissioner's downfall, who, if he had 
represented to the court the inability that 
existed of building these vessels, would have 
been in a much worse predicament. 

Having failed in ship-building, cannon 
founding was to be next tried ; and huge 
guns were cast that would sink the barba- 
rian " sanpans " at one discharge. Several 
millions of taels of copper were directed to 
be used for the purpose ; a founder was sent 
expressly from Wanchoo to superintend the 
operations ; and the Chinese went to work in 


earnest. But in tliis they were nearly as 
unsuccessful as they had been with their ship- 
building ; for on attempting to prove the 
first gun, it burst, killing a corporal and two 
privates ; nor could they prevail upon any 
one else to test the capabilities of the others. 
Not satisfied with this failure, Elepoo deter- 
mined to cast larger ones still ; and a 
number of new war-junks were ordered to 
be built at Amoy. When that place was 
captured, about a year afterwards a frigate- 
built junk was found in the harbour, pierced 
for thirty-two guns, a most unusual number, 
the Chinese having never before exceeded 
ten in each junk. 

New defences were rapidly being erected 
round Ning-po, and ere the year was out, the 
whole neighbourhood of Chin-hai bristled 
with cannon. Five thousand troops were 
collected, and the invasion of Chusan talked 
of; but the troops soon became mutinous for 
their pay, which was squeezed from the citi- 
zens of Ning-po. The supreme government 
shortly afterwards furnished ten millions of 
taels for carrying on the operations. One 


heavy draft on the Ning-po resources was an 
allowance of thirty cash or tchen a-day made 
to all those who would fly from the city of 
Ting-hai, and this pitiful allowance was ac- 
tually paid ! — a rare instance of the author- 
ities keeping their promises. 

The latter part of November proved cold 
to the troops, accustomed as they had been 
to an Indian climate ; the doors, windows, 
and wood-work of all descriptions belonging 
to the houses began to disappear, and roast- 
ing fires were kept up by the soldiers in their 
comfortless quarters, while many streets en- 
tirely disappeared. Reports were made, and 
orders issued to put a stop to these irregular- 
ities, and the burning the materials of the 
houses or their furniture was prohibited ; 
little attention however was paid to the order. 

Elepoo now threatened to burn the city, 
by which means he kindly hinted the barba- 
rians would be able to warm themselves ; but 
his emissary was told, that, " As his excel- 
lency showed such consideration for the 
welfare of the barbarians, they begged to 
assure him they were equally careful of his ; 

R 3 

370 keshen's double dealing. 

and that, to return the compliment, both 
Hanchow and Ning-po should be burnt 
down in the sight of all the grandees now- 
assembled at Chin-hai, as soon as Ting-hai 
was reduced to ashes." His messenger tak- 
ing this speech down in writing, proceeded 
to lay it before the commissioner, who not 
being at all anxious for such fiery attentions 
from us dropped the subject. 

If any thing could be wanting to prove 
Keshen's double dealing at Canton, his cor- 
respondence with Elepoo would clearly estab- 
lish the fact ; for he wrote to him at the very 
moment when he was professing to us at 
Canton peace and good will, as follows : — 

" Get possession of Chusan by fair or foul 
means, no matter how ; for hostilities must 
very soon commence, as the barbarians are 
unbending in their demands." Copies of 
the most secret state-papers, and the intended 
changes in men or measures were always 
communicated to the British ; money being 
the means by which they were obtained, and 
this information was always proved to be 
correct by subsequent circumstances. 


Elepoo, in obedience to the emperor's 
orders, had made great preparations for the 
threatened invasion ; but being doubtful as 
to the result, sent a messenger to Chusan, to 
try and play upon the fears of its present 
occupiers. This emissary performed his 
functions well, describing in glowing lan- 
guage the vast preparations which had been 
made by his master Elepoo, by Lew the 
lieutenant-governor, and Yu the general, 
for the total annihilation of the barbarians, 
and for obtaining possession of the island. 
Yet he was directed by Elepoo to say, that 
he was willing to spare their lives, and allow 
them to depart in peace, if they would do so 
quickly ; but if they still persisted in their 
rebellious conduct, then would he bring his 
thousands, and utterly destroy them. 

Elepoo gained nothing by these humane 
proposals, but an accusation forwarded to 
the imperial presence by his colleagues, of 
his being too peaceably inclined towards the 
barbarians ; for which he was deprived of all 
military command, and the fire-eating Lew 
appointed in his stead generalissimo and 

372 LEW. 

commander-in-chief of the forces to proceed 
against Ting-hai. He was a man of high 
renown, and had been brought purposely 
from his former seat of warfare in Tzechuen, 
where he had met with great success, to aid 
the aged Elepoo with his advice. 

All this had so much alarmed those Chi- 
nese who had returned to Ting-hai, that 
great numbers of them left the city, doubting 
whether the British would be able to with- 
stand such a valiant leader, backed by so 
formidable a host as was said to be assem- 
bled in the neighbourhood of Ning-po. 
And justly might they do so, for they had, at 
that time, seen no proof of the valour of our 
troops, except in the capture of a small corner 
of Chusan by an overwhelming force ; but as 
the Chinese failed in fulfilling their boast, 
confidence was partially restored, and supplies 
were again brought into the city. 

The 13th and 14th of January, 1841, had 
been the days fixed on by Lew for his preme- 
ditated attack ; when, lo ! this able general 
discovered that an island could not be invaded 
without transports and war-junks for their 


An embargo was then immediately laid on 
all the Fokien junks in the river, when a 
new difficulty arose, and the general was 
again disappointed ; for all the crews deserted, 
positively refusing to go against the barbarian 
vessels, of whose prowess they had seen many 
instances along the coast. 

This was rather an awkward dilemma for 
the valiant Lew after all his boasting. What 
would be said at Pekin ? When he bethought 
himself of the never-failing Chinese remedy, 
namely, a letter full of falsehoods, which was 
immediately dispatched to the celestial pre- 
sence, humbly setting forth, " that poor mor- 
tals must not oppose the will of heaven; 
that wind and weather were not at their 
disposal ; that before commencing in any 
hostile movements they must wait till their 
deities were propitious, and that the moment 
they proved to be so he should proceed to the 
attack." His celestial majesty being well 
satisfied of Lew's fierce and fighting qualities, 
gave him permission to " bide his time,^' 
which time never arrived. 

The cold weather did wonders amongst the 


troops, who rapidly recovered from their late 
diseases. Confidence between them and the 
Chinese was increasing, and the beneficial 
effects of the magistracy established in the 
city were beginning to be experienced ; for, 
in January, 1841, not more than thirty cases 
were brought before Captain Caine, the 
magistrate, and most of these cases were for 
selling spirits to the soldiers. 

The thieving propensities which the Chinese 
had at first practised towards the troops had 
gradually yielded before the wholesome dis- 
cipline of the lash, and that of cutting off the 
tails of the most worthless. Had the penal 
code of China been carried out, according to 
the proclamation, in which it was promised 
that the inhabitants should be governed by 
Chinese law, many a poor fellow would have 
been decapitated ; but the milder system was 
found to have the desired effect. 

I may here remark that the natives of this 
island appeared a hard-working quiet race of 
men, submitting patiently to their rulers, but 
entertaining very indifferent principles as to 
meum and tuum. 


Frequent visits were made during the 
winter months into the interior of this fine 
island. Game was abundant, and the sports- 
man was amply rewarded for his pains. 

Good order was now fast prevailing, and 
Chusan ere long would have been a bright 
jewel in the British crown, when the Colum- 
bine arrived from Canton with orders for the 
evacuation of the island, in compliance with 
the terms of the treaty made between her 
majesty's plenipotentiary and Keshen, at 
second-bar pagoda. Nearly at the same time 
an authentic proclamation of the emperor's 
was received, in which he announced to the 
Ning-po authorities his full determination to 
carry on the war at all risks. 

Under these circumstances I think the Bri- 
gadier would have been perfectly justified in 
suspending the evacuation until further com- 
munication with the plenipotentiary, when, 
no doubt, the orders would have been coun- 
termanded; for the forces from Chusan 
arrived in the Canton River after Keshen*s 
want of faith was discovered, and after the 
Anunghoy forts at the Bocca Tigris had been 

376 CHUSAN. 

It was true that Chusan could be retaken 
whenever it should be thought requisite to 
do so ; but the moral effect of the evacuation 
could not be so quickly removed from the 
minds of the Chinese nation, to whom it was 
represented, by their own government, that 
the barbarians had been driven out of the 
island. Again it may be said, that Captain 
Anstruther, Lieutenant Douglas, Mrs. Noble, 
and the rest of the prisoners at Ning-po, 
would not have been released, had Chusan 
not been given up ; and if it were a fact that 
they could not have been obtained without 
that measure, no one could regret the step. 
But there were two ways by which they might 
have been released. 

I have already shown, that arrangements 
had been made for the escape of the officers 
being connived at ; which was most magna- 
nimously refused by them, unless the whole 
party were included, which the addition of a 
few more dollars, no doubt, would have 
effected. Should this have failed, a rapid 
movement on Ning-po would at once have 
effected the object, and have restored the 


confidence of the wavering natives. But the 
orders were to be obeyed, and an announce- 
ment to that effect was made to Elepoo. 

When this became known to the native 
population, their terror and grief were very- 
apparent, and they began quitting the city 
with their property, much more rapidly than 
they had done when the English first entered 
it. They well knew that their own manda- 
rins and officers would most assuredly 
plunder them of every dollar, and excuse 
themselves^ by accusing the inhabitants of 
being traitorous natives, for which behead- 
ing would be the mildest punishment. The 
city was, therefore, more deserted than it 
had ever been, and consternation and terror 
were visible in the countenances of the few 
who, having nothing to lose, remained to the 
last. Their barbarian conquerors had be- 
come endeared to them by the mildness, yet 
firmness, of their government. 

Some delays and shufflings took place with 
Elepoo about surrendering the prisoners ; 
but finding, from the firmness of Captain 
Bourchier, that the English would not give 


him possession of the island until they were 
actually on board the fleet, they were for- 
warded as before described. 

On the 23rd of February, 1841, the Bri- 
tish colours were struck, after having been 
displayed for more than seven months over 
the walls of Ting-hai. I will quote the words 
of an officer who was present at the scene : — 
" Then came the imperial commissioner's 
envoy, Chang, the slave and confidential 
servant of Elepoo, two Serjeants, styling 
themselves captains, and one corporal, who 
took the brevet of a lieutenant. They went 
with the British officers to the city ; and 
when our guards were removed, they having 
brought no Chinese soldiers to replace them, 
the mob rushed into the temple of Confucius, 
and cleared the building of the pawnbroker's 
goods, and other articles there deposited. 
When the city was restored to his imperial 
majesty, a few of the people assembled at the 
southern gate, and the soldiers having all 
marched out, and one * foreigner ' remaining 
to strike the flag, they fell down upon their 
faces, and would have done him reverence. 


in order to show the high veneration in 
which they held the British rule. The flag 
was then hauled down, and the guard em- 

Thus did this fine island and its dependen- 
cies cease to be a British possession. The 
compradore, who had been kidnapped by the 
Chinese at the first occupation, was not 
delivered up with the rest of the prisoners ; 
the Chinese stating, that as he was a subject 
of the celestial empire, we had no right to 
claim his liberation. I regret to say, that 
this was allowed, when keeping the island a 
few hours would, in all probability, have 
brought Elepoo into conformity with our 
wishes ; for so anxious was he to be able to 
report to the emperor that he had got pos- 
session of Chusan, that it was not only 
one compradore, but a dozen, if he had 
them in his possession, that he would have 
surrendered in order to obtain the desired 

On Elepoo's reports reaching Pekin, the 
** relative of the sun and moon" was highly 
indignant at the peaceable steps he had taken 


to gain possession of Chusan, and bitterly 
reproached the old man for them, depriving 
him of all his appointments, for not having 
displayed the terrors of the celestial empire. 

During the British occupation of the 
island, surveys were carried on by Captain 
Drinkwater Bethune, and Lieutenant (now 
Commander) Collinson, the latter officer 
having arrived from England in the Blen- 
heim expressly for the purpose of carrying 
on the surveys in the China Seas. 

The climate of Chusan, in the variation of 
its temperature, is very similar to that in the 
same latitude in North America. The follow- 
ing will show^ the maximum and minimum 
of the thermometer in the shade : — 

Thermometer. Barometer. 

September, from 103 to 65 — from 30 to 29*022 


92 to 51— ,, 30-335 to 



74 to 40— „ 30 



77 to 27— „ 30-588 to 



60 to 28— „ 30-606 to 



60 to 25 

The barometer was observed to fall in 
light or easterly winds. The greatest range 


of the thermometer in twenty-four hours was 
28 degrees. About forty rainy days occurred 
in the above six months ; and the northerly 
monsoon commenced in October, but couid 
not be considered to blow with much force 
until the following month. 

In Appendix A, will be found some 
interesting provincial reports, and imperial 
edicts, relative to the capture and occupa- 
tion of Chusan. 

It will be remembered, that on the 14th 
of November, 1840, the line-of-battle ships, 
accompanied by the Modesto, were at anchor 
off Starboard Jack, from whence they pro- 
ceeded at daylight, on the 15th, in their way 
to the Canton River. The prevailing strong 
and steady northerly winds made the voyage 
only a short one. Numerous fishing-junks 
were observed after passing the Formosa 
channel, and which we found it not always 
easy to avoid coming in contact with; as, 
when trawling, the net is dragged between 
two of them, the leading junk being about 
two cables' length a-head but withal on the 
weather-bow, of his companion. Should 


a vessel, therefore^ attempt to pass between 
these pairs, she is almost certain of fouling 
the leewardmost one, as proved to be the 
case in the middle watch of the 18th. Tlie 
officer in charge of the deck, not being aware 
of this method of fishing, on a junk being 
reported a-head, continued on the course 
which would just pass astern of her, when 
almost instantly, the ship was struck on the 
lee bow by her partner, the owner of which 
was standing forward with a lantern. The 
concussion, of course, dashed it out of his 
hand, the ship going ten knots at the time. 
The junk passed rapidly aft; fortunately, her 
mast cleared the ship's main-yard, and if she 
was injured, her companion could readfly 
render her assistance. The force of the blow 
awoke all hands ; and on getting into har- 
bour, the planking of the ship's bow was found 
to be much injured. 

At daylight of the 19th, the Great Lema 
was made, and the ships hauled up for 
the eastern channel. About 11, a pilot 
went alongside the flag- ship to offer his ser- 
vices, and on their being rejected, could not 


understand "How four-piece ship no wan- 
chee pilot." 

The Calliope, Captain (now Sir Thomas) 
Herbert, and Hyacinth joined company, 
the former ship having lately arrived from 
South America, and at dark the squadron 
anchored off the entrance of the Lantoa 

The 21st the shipping were working up 
to Toong-koo bay, when Captain Scott, of 
her majesty's ship Samarang, then lying in 
Macao roads, pulled out to the flag-ship. 
The Samarang also was one of the South 
American squadron, which had been sent from 
that station to China. The weather coming 
on thick, towards evening the squadron were 
anchored, the Modesto doing so in three 
fathoms water, off the south end of the Island 
of Saw-chow, and the next morning she pro- 
ceeded between that and Chie-lo-cock Island 
to Urmstone's anchorage. The line-of-battle 
ships arriving shortly after, they having to 
go round the north end of Toong-koo Island. 

Having anchored the squadron in a safe 
and spacious bay, where we found the Druid, 


Larnej Jupiter troop-ship, Atalanta and 
Queen steamers, I will proceed in my next 
Chapter to take a cursory view of what had 
transpired in the river during the admiral's 
absence, for which purpose I must beg 
leave to revert to the month of June, from 
which time I shall carry the incidents up to 
the moment of the admiral's arrival ; after 
which, to use a technical phrase, it will be 
pretty ** plain sailing." 



Proceedings at Macao during the absence of the Ad- 
miral — Smuggling by the Broadway — New Rewards 
for British — Enlisting Troops — Chalking Fingers — 
Two Officers robbed — Abduction of Mr. Staunton — 
His Treatment — Demanded by Captain Smith — 
Account of the Barrier — Return of the Taou-tae — 
Answer to Captain Smith's Demand — Preparations 
for attacking the Barrier — Victory thereat — Effects of 
it — Chinese claim the Battle — Chinese leave Macao — 
Lin delivers up his Seals — Lin's Character — Arrival 
of 37th Madras Native Infantry — Lin's Memorial — 
Force in River — Flag of Truce again fired on — Queen's 
68-pounders — Toong-koo — Roasting Soldiers — Sen- 
tence of Paoupang — Squadron proceed to Chuenpee 
— Admiral resigns the command — Anecdote — Joss- 
house — Female Offering — Release of Mr. Staunton 
— Christmas-day — Captain Smith and Mandarin. 

With trial fire touch me his finger end ; 

If he be chaste, the flame will back descend, 

And turn him to no pain ; but if he start, 

It is the flesh of a corrupted heart. — Shakspeare. 

The blockade of the river, which had 
been declared by Sir Gordon Bremer on his 

VOL. I. s 


arrival, was info reed at the Bocca Tigris ; but 
the fast-boats continued to smuggle teas and 
silks to Macao, through the broad way or 
Hong-shan river; which communicates direct 
from Canton with the inner harbour, but is 
not navigable for vessels drawing above four 
or five feet water. By these means ships 
were occasionally loaded and dispatched for 

The lleangshan magistrate Woo, under 
Lin's direction, now fairly threw the gauntlet, 
in a proclamation that he issued, in which 
he first alludes to the arrival of the vessels 
of war, and expresses his fears that, " like 
rats, they will enter all the ways;" i. e.y 
passages ; he therefore commands additional 
troops to be placed in the forts, and a strict 
watch to be kept on the vagabond foreigners, 
repeating the before-offered rewards for the 
ships and persons of foreigners ; but again 
cautions them not to interfere with "the 
Portuguese, or those of other nations who have 
been respectfully obedient to the commands 
of the celestial dynasty.^' 

He further stimulates them in the following 


energetic language: — "If any English, sailing 
in their boats, or sauntering on the shore^ 
enter the country to create a disturbance, at 
once fly and report them to the officers, civil 
and military; and then hasten to stop, attack, 
burn, and destroy them. Fishermen and 
boatmen, soldiers and people, whoever of 
you can cut off and destroy one foreigner, 
will become a just man." After assuring 
them the rewards would most certainly be 
paid, he continues, — *' Valiant heroes ! pos- 
sessed of an excellent name and rich rewards, 
let not the heads of the base foreigners 
long be wanting to establish your characters; 
act like men Be careful not to frus- 
trate your high hopes. Be careful ! be 
careful! A special edict," But the bar- 
barians were not brought in, notwithstanding 
these edicts and offers of rewards, which 
only served to keep the community in a state 
of excitement. 

On the 22nd, in opposition to all laws 
of neutrality, a proclamation, offering 
rewards for the lives of the English, was 
stuck up at Macao, but was shortly torn 

S 2 


down on the remonstrance of the Portuguese 

The enh'stment of the five thousand 
troops, which the Hong and other merchants 
had been ordered to raise, took place in 
this month. As six dollars per mensem 
were to be their pay, and numbers had been 
thrown out of employ by the stagnation of 
trade, there was no lack of recruits. The 
coolies flocked up in thousands to offer them- 
selves "as food for powder." The enlist- 
ment of these men was carried on in the 
following remarkable manner. 

Booths, or more properly barracks, were 
erected in the square in front of the fac- 
tories, the Kwang-chow-foo and other high 
officers being present, attended by the Hong, 
Salt, and Chinchew merchants. The would- 
be six dollars a-month men, for 1 cannot call 
them soldiers, or even embryo soldiers, were 
assembled in vast crowds about the booths. 

Before the Kwang-chow-foo's tent the lie- 
tors kept a large open space, into which the 
volunteers were introduced ; when, to prove 
their qualifications for the new corps, they 


were required to lift a spar about five feet 
long with a circular or wheel-shaped piece 
of granite at each end ; the combined weight 
of which was about one hundred catties : 
this was to be taken off the ground with both 
hands, and raised above the head till the arms 
were straight. I have since seen some men, 
after getting it to this position, retain it there 
for some seconds with one hand only ; but 
whether they got a high step in the corps for 
so doing I cannot say*. 

Those who succeeded in lifting this weight 
were marched up to a table for registry; the 
others being at once rejected. At the table 
the process was novel in the extreme ; nor 
have I been able to learn the meaning or 

* A note, explanatory of the third verse of the twelfth 
chapter of Zechariah, in the Pictorial Bible, says, when 
speaking of a burdensome stone, " That according to 
Jerome, large and heavy stones were kept in the towns 
and villages of Judea, and the youth exercised themselves 
in trying who should lift it highest. In the piratical 
Barbary states, it is said that European captives, when 
disposed of as slaves, were compelled by their captors or 
intended purchasers, to afford evidence of strength by 
lifting large stones provided for the purpose." — Chinese 


magic of the ceremony. At the side of the 
table stood a man armed with a large piece 
of chalk about two catties in weight. As 
the tyros, trembling with expectation, ad- 
vanced, it was this man's duty to seize them 
by the wrist, and to proceed to rub the balls 
of the thumbs and fingers of both hands 
with the chalk. After a long and no gentle 
rubbing, he appeared satisfied with his own 
performance, and handed them over one by 
one to an old man, who appeared to keep the 
final registry-book. This worthy placed his 
nose, for want of glasses, close to the 
chalked finger-balls, and accepted or rejected 
the nervously trembling candidate for mili- 
tary glory. 

Great excitement prevailed on the 6th of 
August, in consequence of the mysterious 
disappearance of Mr. Staunton, a student of 
Cambridge University, who, in the absence 
of a clergyman, performed divine service 
at the British chapel established at the house 
of the second superintendent. Mr. Staunton, 
for a length of time, had been in the daily 
habit of walking out early in the morning to 


bathe at Cassilha Bay. On the evening of 
the 5th he had agreed with some friends, to 
meet them on the following morning, and 
proceed to bathe with them ; but as they saw 
nothing of him, — and from his very early 
habits, he had often before not joined them, — 
no particular notice was taken of his absence 
until near noon, when the people at the 
house at which he resided began to think his 
not returning very extraordinary. Enquiries 
were set on foot, the beach was searched, 
but no remains of his clothes could be found ; 
the Chinese authorities positively denied all 
knowledge of him. Although it appeared 
to all parties unlikely that he should have 
been drowned, as no clothes could be found, 
fishermen were employed to drag the bay 
in every direction, but without success. 

This excitement continued during the 6th 
and 7th, suspicion becoming every moment 
stronger that he had been kidnapped by the 
Chinese. On the 9th, this suspicion was 
confirmed, for it was then known that he had 
been seen the previous day near the Bogue 
forts badly wounded, with his clothes torn 


and bloody, in custody of the notorious 
Wang Chung. 

The moment this was ascertained, an ex- 
press was sent to Captain Smith at Cap- 
sing-moon, detailing the circumstances, on 
the receipt of which Captain Smith hastened 
to Macao in the Enterprise steamer, and 
assured the merchants that most energetic 
steps should be taken for the safety of Mr. 
Staunton. A letter had already been for- 
warded from Mr. Johnston, the second super- 
intendent, to the Portuguese governor, urging 
on him the necessity of taking steps for the 
release of Mr. Staunton, who had been vio- 
lently abducted, while peaceably residing 
under the Portuguese flag ; and that he was 
called upon to take such steps as should 
prevent a similar outrage occurring to those 
whose safety had been so repeatedly gua- 
ranteed. This was done by the whole of the 
Portuguese population taking on themselves 
the office of watchmen, and assisting the 
troops in patrolling the streets at night. 

Several letters passed between the Portu- 
guese governor and Captain Smith, and on 


the 17th the latter was enabled to announce 
to the British community, that the governor 
had assured him that the Taou-tae had 
quitted Macao on the 1 1 th for tlie purpose 
of laying before the viceroy, Lin, demands 
couched in the strongest terms, for the re- 
lease of Mr. Staunton, and that his excellency 
would state the result of the mission as soon 
as it became known to him. 

It was subsequently learnt that, while dress- 
ing after bathing, Mr. Staunton had been sud- 
denly surrounded by about a dozen soldiers, 
who had concealed themselves behind the rocks 
round Cassilha Bay. In an attempt to run, he 
unfortunately fell, and was immediately seized 
and curried into a boat, which was in rea- 
diness to convey the party up the river. After 
a few hours he was removed into a larger 
boat, and conveyed to the Bogue, and at 
sunset was put as a prisoner on board a 
cruizing junk close to Anunghoy, in which 
vessel he was kindly treated by the two 
officers commanding her, who, during her 
passage to Canton, questioned him as to 
*' his honourable name and country." One 

s 3 


of the poorest of his captors on quitting 
him, gave him a handful of cash, that he 
might not be without the means of procuring 

After an examination he was sent to the 
custody of the magistrate of the Nanhae 
district; two soldiers were kept at the door 
of his apartment, and a servant and linguist 
appointed to attend to his wants. It was at 
first suggested that he should be offered as a 
sacrifice to the demon of war; but the Eng- 
lish were too well known in Canton for more 
than the suggestion of such an intention, 
though we have seen, and shall see, that in 
other parts of China, the most revolting and 
barbarous cruelties were practised by the 
Chinese on their English prisoners, even on 
the dead bodies of many of those who fell in 
the country. 

I must now partially break through my 
resolution of not describing Macao until my 
residence there, as without some account of 
the barrier, the reader might be puzzled to 
understand the following account of our 

MACAO. 395 

Macao is the extreme southern point of 
the Island of Heangshan, and were it not 
for an isthmus, which unites it to that island, 
would itself form one about two miles 
in length. This isthmus or neck is three- 
quarters of a mile in length, and twenty 
rods broad. When the Portuguese were 
first allowed to settle on Macao, a high 
party or barrier- wall, composed of stone 
and brick, and extending mto the sea on 
each side, was erected by the Chinese, across 
and nearly in the middle of this neck of 
land. In this wall is a gateway, at which 
a Chinese guard is constantly kept to prevent 
the ingress of foreigners, who are closely 
confined to the small spot of Macao; but 
through this opening the Chinese them- 
selves pass and repass the whole day, it 
being the only means of getting to Macao 
on terra firma. 

The whole of the land on the south side 
of the barrier^ as far as foreigners are con- 
cerned, is considered under the jurisdiction 
of the Portuguese, and, until recent events, 
had ever been considered strictly neutral. To 

396 MACAO, 

the eastward of the barrier and town, is the 
anchorage known as Macao Roads; while 
on the west, between it and the Lappa or 
Twee-lin-shan, is the inner harbour, ex- 
tendino; alonsc the side of the neck as far as 
Casa-blanca or Tseen-shan. The Typa 
anchorage is about two miles off the south 
point of Macao, between the Island of 
Typa-que-brada, or Kai-ke-ong, and Toe- 
ko-ke-tou, or Mackareera. AH these an- 
chorages were considered as neutral during 
the last European war. Two miles in a 
north-easterly direction from the barrier is 
the town or port of Casa-blanca, at which 
the Keun-min-foo, or sub-prefect of Macao, 
resides. At the end of the isthmus, nearest 
Macao, and underneath the brow of the 
hill, the new joss-house, or temple of Leen- 
fung-meaou, is situated. 

When the Taou-tae * was sent to Macao 
in the January of this year, he had under his 
command about two hundred troops., which 
were quartered in Mongha, with a hundred 
or more beyond the barrier, having a small 

* Intendant of circuit. 


detachment at the joss-house. In the inner 
harbour were eight of the largest sized war- 
junks and some troop-boats, making the land 
and sea forces amount to about two thousand 
men. It was singular enough that on the very 
night of the day on which Captain Smith 
had issued his circular, relative to the infor- 
mation from the governor, the Taou-tae 
returned from Canton, but, instead of being 
accompanied by Mr. Staunton, brought a 
large accession of troops and war-junks, by 
which addition the Chinese force was in- 
creased to five thousand men. 

He then declared to the governor, that 
the viceroy, Lin, was determined not to give 
up his prisoner, but had instructed him to 
drive the English out of Macao, and desired 
the assistance of the Portuguese in so doing. 
The moment this answer was announced to 
Captain Smith, the Enterprise was dis- 
patched to Cap-sing-moon for the Druid; with 
which ship she arrived on the 18th, accom- 
panied by the transport Nazareth Shah, 
having a detachment of the Bengal volun- 
teers on board ; the corvettes Hyacinth 


and Larne being then in Macao Roads. 
During the night, the Chinese had hauled 
their war-junks and troop-boats further into 
the inner harbour. 

About noon on the 19th, the British cor- 
vettes, accompanied by the Louisa cutter 
and the Enterprise steamer, having the 
seamen and marines of the Druid, with the 
Bengal volunteers on board, proceeded, 
under the direction of Captain Smith, to 
the attack of the barrier. These vessels, 
standing into Fisherman's Bay as near to the 
shore as the depth of water would allow, or 
the ships could be forced through the mud, 
opened their fire on a battery of seventeen 
guns, about six hundred yards from them, 
which was promptly returned by it. The 
Chinese troops from the boats and temple, 
collecting in squads, under cover of the neck 
of land, attempted to do what execution they 
could with a number of old rusty swivels and 
matchlocks, while the troops at Mongha 
were hastening to the assistance of their 

The junks, which were aground in the 


inner harbour, were utterly useless, for none 
of their guns could be brought to bear, 
though several of the thirty-two pound shots 
from the ships found their way over the 
bank, much to the consternation of the 
occupants of the junks. 

In less than an hour twenty-seven guns, 
which were mounted on the battery and bar- 
rier, were silenced, and the forces were landed; 
when the field-piece of the Druid being 
placed in position to the north of the barrier 
wall, raked the whole of it. By the help of 
some additional volleys from the troops it was 
soon cleared ; not a symptom of an enemy 
being seen on the battery, barrier, or 
adjacent fields. The British flag was now 
flying on the barrier-wall, being the first 
time that any foreign force ever waved a 
standard thereon. Some few guns were now 
fired at our troops from the junks and from 
a gun which they had landed near the 
temple. There also came a few random 
shots from the neighbourhood of Casa- 
blanca, which, from the great distance, had 
no effect. 


By 5 o'clock, however, the rout had be- 
come general, when the barracks and tents of 
the Chinese troops were set on fire ; thus 
announcing to the assembled thousands on 
the hills and house-tops the fate of the day. 
Upon this the spectators immediately dis- 
persed in all directions, fearing that the vic- 
tors would be as unmerciful to them as they 
well knew their own countrymen would have 
been to an enemy, under similar circum- 

The British force which had been landed 
consisted of one hundred and ten royal 
marines, in charge of Lieutenant Maxwell 
of that corps ; ninety seamen from the 
Druid, commanded by Lieutenant Goldsmith, 
of that ship ; and one hundred and eighty of 
the Bengal volunteers, forming a brigade of 
three hundred and eighty men, commanded 
by Captain Mee of the latter corps. The 
loss of the British amounted to four wounded, 
two of whom were injured by the explosion 
of a magazine. The Chinese stated their 
loss at seven or eight killed : but, without 
doubt, were either of these numbers mul- 


tiplied by ten, the amount would be much 
nearer the truth*. 

The "fire-eating barbarians " having em- 
barked after finishing their work and spiking 
the guns, the Chinese troops in a few days 
recovered from their panic, and encamped 
on the hills about three-quarters of a mile 
from the scene of their late defeat ; removing 
the guns from the barrier and battery, and 
mounting them when unspiked in their new 

Too much praise cannot be accorded to 
Captain Smith for his prompt and vigorous 
measures during the foregoing circumstances ; 
the lesson he taught them has never since 
been forgotten by the Chinese at Macao. 
They henceforth ceased to annoy the British 
residents at that place, and never after kept a 
soldier in the town or at the barrier. When 

* It is the constant practice of the Chinese to make 
the greatest exertions to carry off their dead, and to effect 
it they will expose themselves to the most galling fire. 
They imagine that when the dead man is buried his 
spirit is absorbed into their ancestral gods, but that if 
a body remains unburied it is " then the same like one 


any rumour of a stoppage of supplies has 
been heard, a whisper to the Keun-min-foo, 
that our troops might in such a case be very- 
likely to visit Casa-blanca to look for them, 
has had the desired effect. He well knew 
that it was only our forbearance that allowed 
him to rest in peace and " keep his face clean 
in the sight of the emperor." According to 
the usual Chinese practice, a flaming despatch 
was forwarded by the Taou-tae to Lin, an- 
nouncing a victory; and a board was stuck 
up over the Keun-min-foo's office of Tsean- 
shan with the inscription, Tihshing, which 
means a glorious victory. Yih, notwith- 
standing his despatch, was superseded, and 
an officer of a similar rank, called " Ma," 
appointed to take his command. 

The month of September passed without 
any particular public event occurring. The 
blockade of the river being kept up, the 
Chinese pilots were directed by their author- 
ities to go on board any foreign vessels ar- 
riving at Macao, to separate them carefully 
from the English, and strive to prevail upon 
them to proceed to Whampoa. This was 
of course ineffectual. 


Lin," agreeably to the imperial edict of 
the 27th of September, (vide Appendix 
A,) by which he was degraded from his 
government, and ordered to repair to 
Pekin, " with the speed of flames," on the 
14th of October delivered the seals of his 
office to the Fooyuen; Wan, the Hoppo, 
having also been cited to Pekin, doing the 
same ; but they were now countermanded 
and directed to await at Canton, — with Tang 
Tingching, and Han Shaouking, and six 
officers who had been banished for opium- 
dealing, — the arrival of Keshen, by whom 
their conduct was to be examined into. 

It is but common justice to Lin to remark, 
that though even under the imperial displea- 
sure, he was much liked by the people over 
whom he had lately held command ; and his 
bitterest enemies were obliged to allow that 
his hands had never been contaminated by 
bribes, — a most unheard of circumstance 
among Chinese statesmen. 

In person, Lin is short, but of a compact 
make, about forty-five years of age, with a 
fine intelligent forehead and a rather pleas- 


ing expression of countenance, enlivened 
by small dark piercing eyes, and possessing 
a voice strong, clear, and sonorous. In dress 
lie is plain, while in his manners he can be 
courteous, but is more generally rather 
abrupt. In Appendix B, will be found 
an account of an amusing interview between 
him and some gentlemen who were wrecked 
in the barque Sunda, in the October sub- 
sequent to the seizure of the opium, and 
who were carried by the Hainan authorities 
to Canton, being kindly treated by the 
Chinese on their route. 

The French nation about this time began 
to show some interest in Chinese affairs ; for 
on the 20th of October, Monsieur C. A. 
Challoye, '^ Attache au Consulat general de 
Manille, Gerant du Consulat de France en 
Chine," arrived, and from the existing block- 
ade, took up his residence at Macao. 

Three transports during the month, with 
the 37th Madras native infantry on board, 
came into the roads. After these ships had 
entered the China Sea they experienced a 
most terrific typhoon, in which the Thetis, 

Tvrnoox. 405 

one of the number, was dismasted ; and a 
fourth vessel, the Golconda, having the head- 
quarters and staff of the regiment on board, 
foundered. It is a singular fact, that 
two or three officers and about thirty men 
had, by peculiar circumstances, been ex- 
changed from this ill-fated ship into some of 
the others, just previously to their sailing 
from Madras. 

On the 7th, Lin presented an humble me- 
morial to the celestial throne, craving punish- 
ment on himself, and recommending that 
resistance should be made to the demands of 
the British. He proposed delays as one of 
the best methods of weakening them ; and 
volunteered to proceed to Che-kiang, to op- 
pose them Wang, the censor of the pro- 
vince of Honan, and many other high officers, 
addressed memorials to the emperor to the 
same effect ; some of them recommendins: 
that the rebel barbarian prisoners at Ning-po 
and Canton should be put to death. 

During the blockade of the river many 
salt junks were detained by the force, and 
sent down to Saw-chow, under which island 


they were to lie at anchor, their rudders 
being unshipped. 

Having thus brought the proceedings of 
the Canton squadron up to the 20th of 
November, 1840, I shall once more resume 
the account of the general movements of the 
squadron in the river, which at this moment 
consisted of the following vessels : — Melville 
74, Wellesley 74, Blenheim 74, Druid 44, 
Calliope 26, Samarang 26, Herald 26, Larne 
18, Hyacinth 18, Modeste 18, Columbine 
16, Louisa cutter. Steamers Queen, En- 
terprise, and Nemesis ; Jupiter, troop-ship, 
and several transports. 

On the 21st, immediately after the ships 
had anchored at Toong-koo, the Queen was 
dispatched to the Bogue to announce the 
admiral's arrival, and to deliver a despatch 
for Keshen, which Captain Elliot had brought 
from Elepoo at Ning-po, announcing the truce 
that he had agreed on. 

The steamer carrying a flag of truce, as 
soon as she arrived abreast of the first fort, 
Shakoo, dispatched a boat with a similar flag 
flying to that fort, which was situated on 


the eastern side of the channel at Chuenpee, 
or Stream's Nose. Round the watch-tower 
of that place a new circular fort had been 
erected, commanding that of Shakoo, which 
was at the north-western base of the hill, 
whereon the tower and new battery stood. 
The boat, however, had hardly quitted the 
steamer, when a fire was opened on both of 
them from the new battery ; upon which the 
boat was recalled. Out of more than twenty 
shots only one took effect, striking the iron of 
one of the paddle-wheels, and then glancing 
off from the side of the vessel. This insult to 
the flag of peace was not allowed to pass un- 
resented, and the steamer complimented the 
fort with a few sixty-eight-pound shot and 
shell before returning to Toong-koo. The 
next day some of the sixty-eight-pound shots 
were forwarded to the authorities at Canton, 
who " hi-yaw'd" at their enormous size. 

On the arrival of the steamer at Toono-- 
koo, the Hyacinth and Columbine were im- 
mediately dispatched to the Bogue. Captain 
Charles Elliot the same evening proceeded 
to Macao, from which place the despatch for 


Keslien was, through the pilot, forwarded to 
the Keun-niin-foo at Casa-blanca, by whom 
it was eventually sent to Canton. 

A great number of Chinese had assembled 
in boats, and on the shore of Castle Peake 
Bay, feeling secure under the British protec- 
tion, and knowing well that they did not 
dare go near their own mandarins, by 
whom they would be imprisoned and other- 
wise severely punished for dealing with the 
barbarians^ who truly would have been 
badly enough off for fresh provisions, but 
for the constant supply kept up by these 

When the shipping shifted their anchorage 
the whole town moved too ; and it was strange 
to see with what rapidity it presently sprang up 
on a sandy and barren spot, four-and-twenty 
hours sufficing for the operation. The houses 
were formed of bamboo poles and mats, and 
the whole male and female population were 
generally employed in their erection. No 
nails were required, no carpenter wanted, 
the whole being bound together witli thin 
strips of bamboo, — the most useful tree in the 


world. For the morality of these migratory 
bipeds I fear 1 can say but little ; for, when, 
rambling through the bazaar of an evening, 
I could perceive little else going forw^ard 
than gambling and opium-smoking. 

The Chinese are, without exception, the 
most confirmed gamblers in the world. I 
think they even exceed the Malays in that 
propensity. I could not sufficiently under- 
stand any of their games to be able to explain 
them ; but dice and cards appeared to be the 
principal instruments. 

Although I saw many smoking in the 
opium-booths, I observed none of those horrid- 
looking objects that are described by others, 
and who, I therefore can only suppose, 
become so emaciated from an excessive con- 
sumption of the drug. For I have little 
hesitation in saying, that there was not a 
single Chinese at Toong-koo, who did not 
make use of the opium pipe when he could 
afford it ; and I have frequently found the 
bumboat man, who used to attend the ship, 
lying in his little cabin, where both he and 
his wife were enjoying the forbidden luxury; 

VOL. I. T 


but on his services being required, he was 
always ready and wilHng to go to work. 

On the squadron proceeding to the Bogue 
these natives could not accompany it, as there 
was no situation in which they could have 
erected their town ; but as the Jupiter and 
many merchant-ships remained at Toong- 
koo, they felt perfectly safe. Some unhappy 
Chinese soldiers, however, taking advantage 
of the absence of the principal part of the 
squadron, established themselves in a boat 
amongst this musquito fleet, taking down 
the names of the traitorous natives, for 
the purpose of denouncing them to the 
mandarins. One of these soldiers in an 
unguarded moment, when overcome with 
shamsoo, **let the cat out of the bag." Horrid 
vengeance was instantly taken on the whole 
party ; their boat being surrounded, was set 
fire to, and these poor wretches were literally 
roasted alive, their persecutors preventing 
their escape with long bamboos. 

This deed is too horrible to contemplate, 
and could only take place in China. Yet had 
these miserable spies succeeded in their object. 


they would have brought down unheard-of 
punishments on hundreds of innocent people, 
who were relations of the Toong-koo Chinese ; 
for, according to the very mild and just laws 
of China, the fiimily and connections of sup- 
posed culprits are held responsible, and 
punished for the unproved crimes of their 

This fact is clearly established by the 
case of Paoupang, the compradore, who was 
the bearer of the correspondence between 
Keshen and the plenipotentiary. He was 
sentenced to be cut into ten thousand pieces ; 
his relatives were to be put to death ; the 
village in which he had resided was to be 
utterly destroyed, and the country laid deso- 
late for sixty le round it. 

On the 24th, the Calliope, Hyacinth, 
Larne, and Queen steamer, proceeded to the 
Bogue. A most handsome apology had been 
made for firing on the Queen, it having hap- 
pened, as they stated, from the ignorance 
of the officer at the Chuenpee fort of the 
meaning of the w^hite flag. The authorities 
offered to punish him most severely if it were 

T 2 


required. The apology, however, was con- 
sidered ample. 

On the 25th of November, the Nemesis, 
iron steamer, commanded by Mr. W. H. 
Hall, a master in the Royal Navy, arrived 
from England. The Nemesis is a remark- 
ably fine boat, hired by the Company for work 
on the River Hooghly, but sent to China to 
join the British squadron. Her draught of 
water, when she is light and with her sliding 
keel up, is only four feet : this rendered 
her particularly valuable to the force in the 
Canton River. On the morning of the 28th, 
the fleet having completed their water, which 
may be procured from two or three streams 
that discharge themselves into this bay, were 
got under weigh, and proceeded to work out 
of Toong-koo Bay, on their passage to Chuen- 
pee, an anchorage at the entrance of the Bocca 
Tigris, where they would remain during the 
conference and expected settlement with Ke- 
shen. When nearly abreast of Toong-koo 
Island, we saw a long way to windward a 
large fast-boat board and plunder a smaller 
one, the men of which jumped overboard. 

KESHEN. 413 

As soon as the pirates had taken all they 
wanted, they had the humanity to pick up 
those who were in the water, and finally 
landed them at Sanchoo. What a most ex" 
traordinary nation is this! they will commit 
the most unheard-of acts of barbarity, and at 
the same time be merciful and kind. They 
will trade with you at one spot, while you 
are fighting, killing, and destroying them at 
another! This has been amply proved in the 
present war. 

After clearing Toong-koo, we bore up 
to pass round the Lintin south sand- 
head. This accomplished, we continued 
beating up the river until about three in the 
afternoon, when the ebb-tide making, the 
squadron was anchored. On the 29th, im- 
mediately after weighing, a chop-boat went 
along side the Melville with our old friend 
Captain White, and another military officer. 
The object of their visit was to announce that 
Keshen would on that day make his public 
entry into Canton, which he must have done 
about the same time they were making the 
communication. Keshen had been in the 

414 ADMIRAL Elliot's resignation. 

neighbourhood of the provincial city for about 
a week previously, but he did not receive 
the governor's seals until the 3rd of De- 

The signal to anchor having been made 
rather before the tide had finished, the 
captains were all immediately summoned on 
board the flag-ship. The admiral, whose 
health had been long declining", feeling it 
utterly impossible to continue in his command, 
in consequence of a disease of the heart, which 
rendered him during the paroxism abso- 
lutely unfit for mental exertion, resolved 
at once on resigning in favour of Commo- 
dore Sir Gordon Bremer. He could, it 
is true, have retired to Macao, where 
quiet would probably have abated his dis- 
ease, and might have deputed the second 
in command to carry on the negotiations. 
But this course his high and honourable mind 
at once rejected: he would not take the lau- 
rels from another's brow, painful as it must 
have been to quit at a moment when he him- 
self, Captain Elliot, and many others, felt fully 
convinced of the good faith and honesty of 


Keshen, and that an honourable and highly 
advantageous treaty would shortly be con- 
cluded. He preferred, however, taking the 
step already mentioned, and relinquishing to 
the commodore the grateful task of finally 
arranging the treaty. By this resigna- 
tion Sir Gordon Bremer became a second 
time within the year commander-in-chief on 
the India station. Though it had been kept 
from the knowledge of the squadron, Admiral 
Elliot's health had for some time been in a 
very precarious state. As long before as when 
Lord Jocelyn proceeded to England, the 
admiral had forwarded to the home autho- 
rities a request to be superseded, hoping 
at that time that he might be able to struggle 
on until another admiral should be appointed 
from England. 

The Queen steamer having arrived on the 
30th, for the purpose of proceeding to Macao 
with the admiral, he embarked on board that 
vessel amidst the regrets of all those who 
had been under his command, his old Cape 
squadron loudly cheering him as the steamer 
passed by them. The flag was hoisted on 


board the Modeste at sunset, as she was to 
proceed to Macao with the admiral's baggage, 
there to await the arrival of the Volage, 
in which ship the late commander-in-chief 
had resolved to proceed to England. At 
ten o'clock the next morning we weighed. 
Sir Gordon Bremer taking advantage of 
the opportunity to proceed to Macao, em- 
barked with his suite to make arrangements 
with the plenipotentiary, as the admiral had 
not the power to turn his diplomatic autho- 
rity over to the commodore, though Sir 
Gordon Bremer was eventually invested with 
those powers by the home government. 
Captain Charles Elliot for the time became 
the sole manager of the ulterior proceed- 

We anchored in Macao roads about two 
o'clock in the afternoon, where we found the 
Samarang. A bumboat quickly attached it- 
self to the ship^ and as we were a long 
way out, the owner seldom went on shore : 
his boat, besides being a bazaar, with a little 
of every thing, "served him for parlour, 
kitchen, and all/' for himself, wife, and 


three or four little ones, who appeared as 
much at home as if they had been on terra 
firma. Indeed it is a very common thing 
to see these little brats rolling about the 
decks of the country boats with one or two 
empty calabashes tied to them, which, in 
case of their falling overboard, answer the 
purpose of life-buoys until they are picked 

The anchor of this boat had but one 
fluke, and the stock, according to the 
Chinese fashion, passed through the crown 
instead of the shank ; consequently, if it did. 
not fall fluke down, it would not hold. On 
one occasion I was much amused at the 
unsuccessful attempts of our bumboat-man 
to make his anchor hite. Every time he 
fiiiled the boat dropped astern, and as often 
gave his better half the labour of sculling 
up again. At length she dropped the oar, 
and running forwards seized the anchor from 
the old fellow, with an exclamation that I 
think might be interpreted, " Oh ! you 
lubber," pitched it over, and certainly suc- 
cessfully j on which the poor crest-fallen 

T 3 


husband sneaked quietly aft in the boat, 
silently admitting that his wife wore the 

On the 3rd of December the Volage 
arrived from Manilla, on board which ship 
the admiral embarked on the evening of the 
6th, and she sailed for England at daylight 
the next day. The commodore and pleni- 
potentiary returned to the fleet at Chuenpee 
on the 4th, for which place we proceeded in 
the Modesto on the 7th, the Herald passing 
us on her way to relieve the Samarang at 
Macao, which ship was to reinforce the squa- 
dron off Chuenpee, where we anchored on 
the 8th. 

Several chops had passed between Keshen 
and the plenipotentiary, but without any thing 
final being effected. Report said a hostile 
demonstration would be made on the 10th, 
but it passed off without any thing trans- 
piring. On the 12th, the squadron moved 
nearer to the forts at Chuenpee, where they 
commenced watering at a small rivulet that 
discharged itself into the river on the south 
side of the point, near which a temple is 


situated, dedicated to the goddess* of those 
of the fair sex who are anxious to become 
" as ladies wish to be who love their lords," 
and whose more especial prayers are, that 
they may be favoured with a " bull child,"— 
the height of ambition of every Chinese 
mother. In fact, most wretched is every 
parent in China who has not a son to place 
his body in the tomb, and to offer up thereat 
yearly adoration. When the females ap- 
proach the fane, they bring, according to 

* The goddess Teen-fe, or Matsoo-poo, is also the 
deity of Chinese seamen. Her worship was originally- 
introduced from Mechow, where her mother resided; 
who on being presented by the goddess Kwanyin with a 
flower of the fig-tree, swallowed it, and became pregnant. 
After fourteen months she gave birth to the goddess Fe, 
the air being perfumed with a powerful fragrance for a 
mile around. She has gained her nautical celebrity by 
having preserved her brother's ships from foundering 
in a typhoon, and is worshipped by the women for having 
granted a child to the prayers of a barren wife, who had 
in vain implored at the shrines of all the other Chinese 

She was subsequently, for services rendered to the 
court, declared the safeguard of the nation, the assister 
of the people, the excelling spiritual essence, the illus- 
trious answerer of prayer, of enlarged benevolence, 
affording universal aid, the celestial Fe. 


their means, meat, fish, cakes, fruit, and a 
small pot of shamsoo with quantities of 
incense-paper and joss-stick. This joss-stick 
is lighted and allowed to burn before the 
image of the goddess. The worshipper then 
bows three times, expressing her petition ; 
then kneels three times, kissing the ground 
as often ; after which she burns the incense- 
paper, while an attendant beats a gong 
to arouse the attention of the deity. This 
part of the ceremony being completed, 
the devotee again kneels, and kisses the 
ground as before, when the ceremony is 
concluded by a present of cash to the priest. 
At this joss-house the priest made not 
the slightest objection to selling us a set of 
his gods. 

On the 10th of December, Mr. Vincent 
Staunton, after a lengthened imprisonment, 
was brought into . the presence of Commis- 
sioner Keshen, who ordered his manacles to 
be struck off, and expressed much regret at 
his seizure. He immediately released him, 
had a dinner and a lodging provided for 
him in his own house, and early the next 

MR. Staunton's imprisonment. 421 

morning caused him to be conveyed in a 
sedan-chair to a boat waiting to can;y him to 
the British squadron, which he reached on 
the morning of the 12th. 

This release, granted on the representa- 
tion of her majesty's plenipotentiary, appeared 
kindly done, whatever might be the commis- 
sioner's secret motive for it ; nor does it 
appear his imprisonment had been very 
severe. On his first capture he was closely 
interrogated by Lin and other high officers, 
to ascertain if he had been in any way 
concerned in the opium trade, of his total 
disconnection with which they seemed to be 
convinced. Instead, however, of being re- 
leased, as he justly expected to have been, 
he was sent, as we have before shown, to 
the prison of Nanhae, where he was sur- 
rounded by scores of criminals, and was 
assured that more than a thousand were 
within its walls. A light chain was fastened 
round his legs to prevent his running away, 
and manacles were put on his wrists when 
taken before any of the mandarins. At 
the same time they provided him with any 


food he wished for, clothed him, and sup- 
plied him with Chinese books. No doubt 
much of this was owing to the kindness of 
his keeper. 

During our stay at this anchorage a bat- 
talion formed from the marines of the squa- 
dron was constantly exercised on the small 
island of Sam-pan-chou, where they formed a 
very imposing and soldier-like body for the 
contemplation of the mandarins at Chuenpee, 
who were so soon, as it proved, to suffer from 
their prowess. 

On the 15th, the surveying vessels, the 
Sulphur, Commander (now Captain; Belcher, 
and the Starling, Lieutenant (now Com- 
mander) Kellet, arrived from South America 
and the Eastern Archipelago. The officers of 
these vessels became actively employed in the 
river, and their services during the whole of 
the operations were of the greatest advantage 
to the squadron. 

Rumours of wars continued to prevail, 
and it soon became evident to the most 
sanguine, that no terms would be obtained 
from Keshen until he was thrashed into 


them. Scaling ladders were now made on 
board all the ships preparatory to taking 
the forts by escalade. These ladders were 
formed of bamboo, twenty feet in length, 
with bars or steps lashed across them. 
They possessed the qualities of lightness 
and strength in a superior degree. 

Friday the 25th arrived, and as Keshen 
was still playing his fast and loose game, a 
chop was dispatched to him to say that, if a 
satisfactory answer was not previously re- 
turned, hostilities would commence at noon, 
on Monday the 28th. 

This approach to warlike measures rather 
enhanced the enjoyment of Christmas-day to 
those who were getting weary of procrasti- 
nating delays. It was observed in true old 
English style, — as far at least, as roast beef 
and plum-pudding would do it. Messrs. P. 
Hooker and Lane, general dealers at Macao, 
had long been fatting up a bullock for the 
occasion, and his carcase had for some time 
been marked for the different messes. The 
24th had been passed by caterers and stew- 
ards in watching and misgivings as to the 


arrival of Hooker's schooner with the good 
things on board, and late at night they were 
much discomforted by an announcement that 
she had got on shore, and that it was quite 
uncertain when she would be up. At day- 
light, however, she appeared to rejoice our 
hearts, when, however, a general race of 
boats from all ships took place. Such cries 
as "Where's my sirloin?" "Where's my 
roasting-piece?" "Have you brought my 
rump?" "Mr. Lane, where are the cur- 
rants?'' — and a hundred other such requisi- 
tions. At length he managed to satisfy all 
their demands, and the boats returned to 
their ships, rich with the requisites for a 
Christmas feast, which by evening the cooks 
had served up in appropriate style. Good 
feeling and fellowship prevailed; many a 
little bickering was ended^ and "a merry 
Christmas and a happy new year" drank to 
those far away. At the same time the com- 
forts of the men were not lost sight of; all 
hands were permitted to enjoy themselves, 
though discipline and efficiency were not 
allowed to suffer. I am proud to say that in 


very few cases did the men forget that they 
might at any moment be wanted for service. 

On the 26th, the Madagascar was dis- 
patched to Macao to announce that hosti- 
lities were likely to take place ; the Enter- 
prise proceeding to Toong-koo to bring 
up the Madras native infantry. About 
noon the signal was made, — ''Preparations to 
be made for service," and the ships bent 
their stern cables, knocked down bulk-heads^ 
and cleared for action. 

On the 27th, numerous telescopes were 
anxiously directed up the river to see if there 
was an appearance of a chop-boat; all being 
eager for the fight, and dreading a messenger 
of humbug. However, he arrived towards 
the afternoon, by which a stop was put to 
any further operations at the moment, to 
the disgust of all hands and the disappoint- 
ment of many amateurs who came up to 
witness the expected fight, which they lost 
when it really did take pLice, as they fancied 
we were still '^ crying wolf." 

One or two of the same sort of mes- 
sages arrived, and an old mandarin at 


Chuenpee, who had been in communication 
with Captain Smith on former occasions, sent 
off a message to him as follows: — "My chin- 
chin Smith plenty much, can talkee my that 
day go makee true fight pigeon ; put plum 
gun, killee plenty piece men ; my go walkee 
other pigeon, then no can killee my." I do 
not know whether he got the desired infor- 
mation ; but I do know that the last day of 
December, 1840, arrived, and we were no 
further advanced than we were at the com- 
mencement of the year, though the Chinese 
might be seen busily employed in strength- 
ening their position of Chuenpee. 


London :— Harrison AND Co., Printers, St. Martin's Lans. 


Los Angeles 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

BT 4 1963] 

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